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Photo: Enigma Sports

"Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that."

Bill Shankly, Liverpool Football manager

Xmas 2017

Who is Jesus?

When the Magi saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Matthew 2:10-11

Jesus once asked his disciples: "Who do people say I am?" (Mark 8:27) He might have added a second question: “How to people react to me?” Matthew 2 – the account of the Magi or wise men - is a chapter we normally only read at Christmas but it is a chapter for all seasons which gives us interesting answers to the second question.

We see three different reactions to the news of the birth of Jesus, three reactions which remain common today.

Animosity and rejection

Herod wanted to find Jesus and kill him. He told the Magi: “Go and search carefully for the child”…When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. (Matthew 2: 8, 16)

Indifference

When Herod asked the chief priests and teachers of the law, they answered (Matthew 2: 4-6) as if the question was of no importance. In the UK where I live, no-one wants to “kill” Jesus but most are indifferent. Materialism, getting the best for myself, accumulating all the latest toys seem to be the purpose of life.

Humble worship

In verse 11 we read that the Magi “bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh”. Start your day by bowing down and worshipping Jesus. Offer him your gifts – including your sporting gifts – to be used for his glory.

If you put Jesus in the right place in your life, everything else will fit into place. Then go out and train and compete for all you are worth.

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