Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pastor's Perspective - Draft Picks

The NFL Draft begins today.

As you know, this is the time of the year when all 32 professional football teams, after months of scouting, film-watching, bowl-attending, combines, campus visits, and interviews, offer their official invitations to the best college players in the country. After accessing their individual team needs, the teams analyze the best players “on the board” to meet those positional needs. After agreeing on each of their selections, that player is contacted, announced and celebrated.

I can only imagine what the folks two thousand years ago thought of the tiny team Jesus assembled. Personally, I would have never chosen the twelve He chose with my dozen draft picks. First of all, I would have never had two brother combinations. Family issues can get so messy sometimes. Plus, one set of brothers were known as ‘sons of thunder’ – hot-heads! Likewise, I would have never selected a tax collector with one of my picks. They were already despised. Who needs that kind of locker room headache? To augment team friction, let’s throw in a zealot! Hating all things Roman, he would have especially hated the tax man – a pawn for the emperor. To add to that, Jesus’ team seemed a bit fishermen-heavy for my likes. One guy was a doubter. One fella was a bit of a snob, prejudiced about anything good coming out of certain villages. And one saw through dollar sign lenses. No thank you! Jesus, what were you thinking? I’ll give you a D+ grade at best for the utilization of your draft picks. Didn’t you analyze their scouting reports?

Recently I pulled-up my old ‘Scouting Report’:
Steve Kiefer. 5’10” 190lbs. Johnson Bible College (Knoxville).
Continually struggles with impatience, pride, impulsiveness, inconsistency, frustration, stress, prioritization, resentment.
Married twice. Divorce and infidelity discovered in family history.
Early history of drugs, alcohol, sexual misconduct, multiple regrettable episodes.
Recommendation: Not worthy of a draft pick. Too damaged. A liability. A reach.

For three consecutive seasons, each of Jesus’ selected teammates drew penalties and fumbled the ball frequently; yet, all, except for one, eventually died for their coach and team leader and performed and played splendidly for His glory.

Let me remind you that Jesus is still assembling a team! He isn’t looking for perfect, cleaned-up, highly-projected personnel with impeccable credentials. Nor is He looking for flash, pedigree, IQ, media good-looks or self-confidence. Instead, He’s looking for the ones most often overlooked – the down & outers – the rejected – the injured – the weary – the disillusioned - the humble – the “real”.

Friends, let me remind you that only God’s grace destroys your old scouting report and replaces it with a team jersey and starting position.

Are you currently on His team? If not, there’s room on the active roster just for you. Announce it today and start a celebration!

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