I am reminded today of a famous statement made to me by one of my basketball coaches. He said, “Remember there is no I in Team.” In which I, in my competitive nature, responded passionately, “There is in WIN! Now get me the ball.” It was not that I held dissatisfaction with my teammates; it was not that I doubted their skills and abilities; it was the simple fact that I had confidence in my own actions. I had no doubt that I could score and win the game. I desperately wanted the ball in my hands. I wanted to control the outcome of the game. At that moment, I did not care about the relationships of my teammates. I wanted, needed, and urgently want to win. Winning is the goal of any competition and the common goal of our team. In my view, the way to victory meant giving me the ball, letting me score, win the game, and then we all celebrate. Losing was just not an option. It was nothing emotional or personal. That may or may not work on the basketball court but it definitely does not work in the church.
In his first letter to the struggling church in Corinth, Paul writes in Chapter 8:1-13, it is love that makes one victorious. It is not the knowledge we have, it is not the ministries we offer, or the way we worship, it is how we love each other and interact with each other that makes us attractive to others. The Corinth church was arguing about eating meat. While they quarreled and complained about the issue, Paul reminded them that others outside the church were watching the way they loved each other. Here at FCC, we have a unique gift to share with others in our community. The gift we hold is the ability to love and care for each other. Loving each other does not mean we have to always agree but it means we still cherish, respect, care, and love each other along the way. If we love each other the way Christ calls us to love each other, Christ’s love will be intoxicating for those outside our walls. We must be willing to invite others to share in Christ’s love that we display naturally in our faith family. By building and nurturing healthy Christ like relationships, we all win. Let us all share the ball and share the love as we do the work of our Lord.