Faithlife is headquartered in Seahawks country, so Super Bowl fever pervades Bellingham. Flags flutter on cars and homes sporting #12—unifying symbol of the Seahawk nation. Fans consider themselves part of the team, together as the 12th Man.
What God’s church fails to do Sabbath and Sunday mornings, the Seahawks accomplish Sunday afternoons. They bring together worshipers from all backgrounds to form a united humanity. The 12th Man embodies black and white, male and female, old and young, wealthy and poor—indivisibly one humanity in quest of Super Bowl glory.
The Seahawks’ 12th Man illustrates Christ’s purpose for His people: “that they may become perfectly one” (John 17:12, ESV). Jesus came to earth to establish a new humanity: the church. After Adam’s old humanity deceased in sin, Christ’s victorious death created a new human race of those He redeemed: “He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph. 2:14). “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:29).
The Seahawks’ 12th Man unites Northwest fans on Sunday afternoons during the football season, but the church incorporates all believers everywhere, now and forever. The Seahawks must pursue their championship year after year, so their 12th Man is always at risk of dethronement. But Christ’s victory is guaranteed for eternity, and His kingdom of priests (that’s us—the new humanity) “will reign forever with Him” (Rev. 22:5).
For the past 2,000 years, the church has been distracted by many things. Football, for instance (sorry, but let’s admit it!). The fervency of the Seahawk’s 12th Man puts the church to shame. It’s earthshaking—literally. Fans at CenturyLink Field have cheered so loud that they registered as seismic activity on the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. Wouldn’t it be great if the earth would shake for the sake of God’s kingdom?
It can, and it will. God says, “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also” (Heb. 12:26).
So where will you be on that Day when God shakes apart your world and Jesus’ claims His people as His championship trophy? Will you be at His big celebration?
Last year (for some undetermined reason) I wasn’t invited to the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory party, and chances are they won’t invite me this year (assuming they win). But Christians are guaranteed a ticket to championship festivities in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 8:11).
So, then, where is your primary identity? With a football team? In your career, ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic status? Or do you cherish your membership in the body of Christ above all earthly distinctions?
Logos Bible Software can help you with that. Day by day through your study of God’s Word, you will be inspired to identify more fervently with your new humanity in Christ. That will equip your ministry to more effectively invite others to join that triumphant team.