In Position to Make the Call
Tomorrow afternoon, the church family I serve will celebrate the life of “Jess” Kersey, former pro basketball referee. I have spent the last couple of days brushing up on my knowledge of ABA and NBA basketball and learning as much as possible about the life of a referee.
“Jess” Kersey was an extremely engaging official, and as I sit at home tonight watching an NBA playoff game, I have a new appreciation for the effort pro referees make to be in a position to call the game. They are athletes, judges, mediators, teachers and sometimes counselors. And while they are sometimes at odds with players, they are a part of a bigger family that makes its living entertaining the world with a ball and hoop.
Most of us aren’t fond of rules, and even more so when the calls don’t go our way. But rules, and even the calls we don’t like, are easier to take when the person holding us accountable is engaged in our lives.
This point is what made Jesus and the legalist of His day different. The legalist stood at a distance and condemned sinners and tax-collectors. Jesus ate and drank with them and invited them into a new relationship with His Father. Legalists found lots of opportunities to beat others down and inflate their own egos. Jesus looked for those who needed to be lifted up and humbled Himself in the form of a servant to show He cared.
We all need rules, or “commandments” as the Bible calls them.
That’s right. Rules are a good thing.
But they make no sense if we don’t know the “Ruler.”
We don’t even need to know the logic behind a rule if we know Jesus. Once we come to trust Him as Lord…
…that is enough.
I’m not saying we don’t have questions at times. But we get over them because Jesus walks with us. We know He knows best. “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”
I’m thankful my Ruler doesn’t stand at a distance. Believe me. When it comes to making calls in my life, it would be much easier for Him if He did.