"In team sports, it doesn't matter which of the players makes the points. When one individual scores, the whole team scores. If the quarterback throws a touchdown ball to the tight end, then it doesn't matter that the guards never touched the ball, or even that the defense was sitting on the bench. It doesn't matter that some on the team may have missed their blocks or run the wrong routes. It doesn't even matter that the second- or third-string hadn't yet been in the game. When one member of the team scores, the whole team scores. In terms of who wins, it doesn't matter whether we are on the offense or the defense, in the backfield or line, or on the first-stirng, second-string, or special teams. The entire team wins, not just the individual who makes the winning score.
"In making the gospel covenant, we become part of a team whose captain and quarterback is Jesus Christ, a cosmic Heisman Trophy winner who throws nothing but touchdowns. If we are on his team, we will go undefeated. Even if I miss my block now and then, even if he asks me just to sit on the bench most of the time, as long as he's the captain, we're going to win. But I've got to be in his team, not my own and not on somebody else's."
Since today is SuperBowl Sunday, and alas...it's also a Sunday...I thought I'd share one of my favorite analogies from Dr. Stephen Robinson (he was the father of one of my roommates at BYU and also the author of "Believing Christ"). This is from "Believing Christ", an analogy given to help illustrate that great dilemma, the fact that God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, yet we are all sinners, we sin every day....how could we possibly hope to inherit the kingdom and return home to Him? By taking the shortcut. By recognizing that we can't do it alone...that we are going to fail....that our spirits and bodies are in constant struggle and will NOT be one until the resurrection...and in recogizing that the only way is the perfect way...by giving everything we have and believing Christ when He said He can save us through His infiinte Atonement. So many of us Christians believe IN Christ; believe IN His identity, but we don't believe Him and what He has promised. But by having faith in His promise and recognizing that yes the gospel can work for each one of us, regardless of background, past choices, talents, or personal strength...we can finally find joy and realize that in that eternal celesital partnership with Him, we CAN become perfect...because He and us are One.
In forming that partnership, through repentance and faith, Christ can literally erase all of our sins and in Him we can be made perfect. This is not individual perfection, but perfection in Christ. And through that partnership, we can borrow His strength where we need it to lead better lives. We can find more desire to live purposefully and less desire to live in a way that can be damaging to us spiritually and physically. Only through Him can we find that strength and overcome. And the most amazing miracle of it all is this; that He has made this partnership available to everyone, and has made it easy to be part of his team...all we have to do is ask. Sure, life isn't easy for anyone...but our burdens CAN be made light when we finally believe Christ.