Under New Ownership

It’s been a nightmare season for my football team Liverpool (now obviously it’s not my team, but in common with many footie fans I feel having invested many hours and much emotion in following them that in same way I do have some sense of ownership). It has been many years since ‘Liverpool Football Club’ and relegation have been heard in the same sentence, but with lacklustre performances, change in manager, and our star striker struggling with fitness and form they have formed an unexpected coupling at the moment. Rightly or wrongly, many have looked behind the scenes for to blame, pointing the finger at the clubs American owners, who they say have saddled the club with debt and so stifled the chances for it to develop and compete with the best.

As I write this, the news is filtering through that subject to a last minute legal battle, LFC have been sold to new owners, the debt cleared and the path for renewed success hopefully cleared – a little at least. Perhaps at last the Club can get back to worrying not about the future of the institution, but focus on playing exciting competitive football once again.

Why do I write about LFC in a church newsletter? Because there are similarities between their situation and ours. The Bible tells us that by becoming followers of Jesus we have undergone a change of owners. We are no longer saddled with the debt of sin or death but have been freed to live a life of life and hope in God’s Kingdom. What is key for LFC right now is for the players to leave behind their current form, and to look forwards and beginning playing like the stars that they are, looking to the new owners and manager, not backwards to fear and uncertainty. So it is with us. It is not enough to simply switch allegiance to Jesus, but to follow, to life our lives in response to what Jesus has revealed to us, to follow where he goes.  Paul makes the same point in the book of Romans when he writes,

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom. 12:1-2) 

Let us let our new owner shape us by his Spirit, and let that shaping become deeply ingrained in our lives as we put it into practise.

Church Newsletter article for Sunday 10th October 2010


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