Recently I was at the beach playing bocce ball with some of my family. Although I lost, it was a good game. Something relatively new to me is to derive pleasure from watching one of my family members enjoy the taste of victory at my own expense. I never was one to let my kids win on purpose. Now they win and I can’t stop them.
Bocce is a game that is played in the sand. You outline a rectangular court that is divided into halfs. You then throw a small white ball to the opposite side of the court. The players then take turns throwing their larger colored balls to see who can get their ball the closest to the white ball. Closest to the small white ball gets a point. It is a very simply game and is great for the whole family to enjoy. Not a lot of athletic ability is required, which is good for me.
After bocce we decided to hit the volleyball around some. We didn’t have a net and thought we could play on the bocce court that we had outlined in the sand. Bad idea! Do you know how easy it is the spike the ball when you don’t have to jump up and hit it over the net? The game quickly became “cut throat” with no more than 2 hits before someone slammed the volleyball at the opposing team. Arguments erupted, tempers flared, you spiked it on me so now I am spiking it on you; it was a nasty game. I mostly stood back and watched with amazement. I actually told the players, “There is going to be a blog about this.”
Games and sports have rules for a reason. All the participates must abide by the same standards or else the play wouldn’t be fair. Christianity is the same. Can you think of rules and laws that we must keep as Christians? Stop here and think for a moment. What comes to mind?
Did you think of the Ten Commandments, tithing, reading the Bible, or praying every night? What about helping the poor, working in the church, or watching your tongue? All these things are good I realize, but are these a set of rules that I MUST keep? A lawyer asked Jesus a question one day.
Matthew 22:34-40 reads;
34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
That’s it? YES, that’s it! Love God and love your neighbor. In doing these two things, you will fulfill all that long laundry list of laws that none of us could ever keep.What great news!
PS: Which of my family members do you think was playing volleyball on the bocce ball court? 🙂