Last Saturday, I went to my second Philadelphia Flyers game, during which they played their interstate rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Everyone in the place was dressed in orange, and no one – nobody – would dare stand up and root for the Penguins. I saw four- and five-year-old kids with their hair dyed orange and old ladies dressed in Flyers jerseys. The fans were going all out to cheer for a sports team, who (by the way) lost 5 to 4. I was amazed by the commitment, the enthusiasm, the obvious show of whose side the fans were on.
I grew up in Detroit. I love the Detroit Redwings, Pistons, Tigers, and even the hapless Lions. (I still predict that within a few years we will see the Detroit Lions playing in the Superbowl.) But my support for Detroit teams is nothing like the love Philadelphia fans have for the Flyers.
The game led my thoughts to our commitment to Christ and our displays of “Christ-follower colors.” We might not want to be as obnoxious as some of the Flyers fans who were in the stadium, but maybe it’s time we quit being stealth believers. Maybe it’s time we quit being so silent and begin to think how we make ourselves obvious as Christ-followers.
Jesus was clear that it is our love for each other, for our neighbors, and for our God that sets us apart (John 13:35). There was no love for the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wachovia Center last Saturday, but there was a commitment to the Flyers. Sometimes I feel like there is no love for each other in the body of Christ, but if we have a commitment to Jesus, we need to love each other (1 John 4:20). I wonder what would happen if we displayed our colors as clearly as what I saw last Saturday and peppered our commitment to Christ with incredible love for each other, for our neighbors, and for those we come in contact with.
This Detroit fan learned a lesson from the Philadelphia Flyers.