The red zone is where the action happens! It’s when a football team is within scoring range and something exciting is about to occur. The red zone is the highlight reel and saves us all the trouble of viewing the boring parts of the game.
However, anyone that has played football will tell you that the red zone is not the game. Sure, it’s the highlights of the game, but it is most certainly not the entirety of the game.
In regards to the Christian faith, our red zone is the cross. This is exciting, compelling and potentially life changing but may I suggest the message of Jesus is more than this. Sure, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is the highlights of the gospel but certainly not the entirety of the message.
If Jesus’ life’s only purpose was to die, why was he born a baby?
Why live 33 years?
Why not just jump right to the red zone?
Instead, Jesus worked quietly as a carpenter for nearly 30 years in a small town. He lounged around at weddings. He stopped for a drink of water. He made friends. He made enemies. He cooked breakfast. He laughed, cried, and got angry. He did much more than die.
And the entire time, a handful of friends fell in love with him.
You ask people who really love the game of football and they watch a lot more than the red zone. They study closely every decision made, penalties committed, and shifts in momentum. Every part of the game matters and it’s in the small mundane parts of the game where their love grows.
You ask me when I fell in love with my wife and I’ll tell you it was long before she walked down the aisle. It was that mundane day at church when I was busy running from one room to another and peeked around the corner to watch this beautiful woman giggle gently with some children.
You ask those with a vivid relationship with God when they fell in love and they’ll tell you countless stories of adventure, heartache, forgiveness, healing, and joy.
May your faith dare to experience more than the red zone. May you live with the one who died for you. May you fall in love in the mundane.