When you’re a football fan, the month of March is indeed Madness. The Super Bowl is over and the evil, Satan-worshiping New England Patriots have acquired another trophy to stare at. Much of the football news since the big game has dealt largely with college recruiting, free agency in the pros, and the good-grief-who-cares-theft of Tom Brady’s jersey. March has sent me to the nut house listening to the countless stories relating to Tom’s sacred shroud. All I can say if it smelt like my son’s jersey after a big game, who would want it????
But for the devout basketball fan, this is YOUR month. The NCAA tourney is down to 16 teams and, to my knowledge, a perfect bracket doesn’t exist. The Kentucky fans in our church family are especially excited that Kentucky is one of the remaining teams. They are also filled with praise in that Duke and Louisville will be watching the remainder of the tournament from their respective dorm rooms. The Lady Vols lost to Louisville last night in the Women’s tournament…so this Tennessee boy has no one left…ANYWHERE…to cheer for. (Don’t cry for me…I’ll live) 🙂
Obviously, you didn’t read this to hear my sports commentary. I’m sitting here staring at my computer trying to process what March has brought across my desk. This month has been the most painful (difficult?) month yet after nearly 6 months of being your pastor. Families have lost loved ones in every age bracket. Health has declined in some. Uncertainty looms with many. Some are wrestling with “what now?” And, as I’ve said for years, everyone has stuff, whether they tell me about it or not.
Certainly Madness and Sadness have posted their own blogs in all of our lives. I was on the verge of handing the reigns over to both of these mean fellows and throwing in the spiritual towel when a really neat thing happened. I limped into church spiritually Sunday night. We had a community choir church sing thingy. (technical church language) 🙂 In short, several churches came and offered up a couple of songs each. I was blessed to have a front row seat…literally. I sat with my wife and son and watched and listened as the young and old offered up song after song of praise and faith. I watched young people play instruments and sing. I watched a pastor’s wife, whose husband is very sick, play a harmonica and beam with confidence in our gracious God. I listened as my wife reminded us that God will always be enough. Somewhere in the midst of the service, I noticed I was smiling…grinning even. My mouth was actually sore by the time the evening ended.
Since I’m not always the sharpest knife in the drawer, it took me a couple of days to think about what God had done. In the midst of madness and sadness…He had filled my heart with GLADNESS. He put me in a room with folks who BELIEVE. My own brothers and sisters…yes from different churches…yes from different denominations…yes with different worship styles…BUT IT WORKED. It worked because Christ was who we were all thinking about…He was who we were all singing about. May God grant you some Gladness today my friends. Think on Christ…sing Him a verse or two. Tell someone about Him. Tell Madness and Sadness to scoot over…to make room for the King. Stay Classy Monticello! 🙂