“Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day (Psalm 96:1,2).”
Most people who follow sports know the story of Michael Vick. He is the American football player who had the world at his feet. He was a gifted athlete for the Atlanta Falcons and highly celebrated.
Then Vick’s world came down like a house of cards. He was arrested for being involved in a vicious dogfighting ring and sent to prison. He was disgraced. There was a good chance he would never again play in the National Football League .
However, one team gave him a second chance. The Philadelphia Eagles took him under their wing (pun intended) and let him play football again. He hasn’t done much on the field. But this didn’t stop his teammates from voting him as their most courageous player. Even though he knew he would face criticism and abuse for his past because he was again in the public eye, Vick took the field again and by all accounts has been a model citizen. His teammates wanted to recognize this.
As Christians we are apt to take a dim view of a man such as Michael Vick. We will join in the chorus of fault finding and judgement. We tend to forget, however, that none of us are immune from sin. The Scriptures tell us that if anyone thinks that he or she stands, they should take heed lest they fall (I Corinthians 10:12).
The Galatians are an an example of believers who had heard the truth, but were turning away from it. The apostle Paul used an athletic analogy to rebuke them. He wrote, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth (Galatians 5:7)?””
We are prone to be very eager about sharing our faith and God’s love with people around Christmas and judging and criticizing them the rest of the year. Our pop culture and the media showed at Christmas that he is a God of second chances. He appears to be gving Michael Vick one. More than likely God is doing it so Michael will see God’s grace and turn to Him.
My mother has a unique approach to her Christmas tree. She leaves it up all year long and decorates it according to the season. For example, in July the ornaments may be American flags celebrating the birth of America.
We ought to be individual living Christmas trees every day of the year, celebrating Jesus’ birth and ready to share God’s grace and love to hurting and sinful people all the time.