Last week I returned from our mission trip to Mississippi and found that Indianapolis had turned blue. Blue lights, blue signs for the Colts, and blue clothing were everywhere. Even our Methodist Hospital was bathed in blue lights. The city of Indianapolis was truly “blue” to support the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
Through the generosity of a layman from Bloomington 1st UMC, I was able to attend the game with Pastor George Purnell and his family. It was a great game for Colts fans, and I can truly say that the RCA Dome was the loudest place I have ever been! The crowd was enthusiastic from the start, continued to cheer for the Colts when they fell behind 21-3, and went totally crazy at the Colts’ comeback and victory. It was the most boisterous and joyful crowd I have seen since the last time I preached (just kidding).
So now Indianapolis is a city celebrating the victory and anticipating the Super Bowl. As someone who has often cheered for the Chicago Bears, I feel some divided feelings over this I-65 Super Bowl match-up. Maybe we should offer to host the Super Bowl here in Indiana since the two teams are in our neighborhood.
Sunday night in the midst of the noise and excitement of the game, I kept remembering the words of Hebrews 10:24-25: “Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as we see the Day approaching.” I wonder what would it be like if every United Methodist congregation in Indiana would be filled with people who enthusiastically support and encourage one another? What would it be like if our pastors knew that their congregants were praying for them and encouraging them? How would our churches thrive if we focused upon “cheerleading” for each other, especially during the tough times? If we caught even a bit of the enthusiasm of the Colts fans this past Sunday, then it would truly be Super.
So, let’s meet together, let’s celebrate together, let’s cheer each other on, let’s provoke each other to love and good deeds, and let’s rejoice with one another as we see the day of Victory approaching!
from Bishop Michael J. Coyner