Someone posted a photo on Facebook of a guy at a Baseball game. His shirt read the following. “Thank God for Baseball.”
Several years ago, I am certain I would have said something about that photo. Something like, “that’s utter blasphemy.” After all, baseball, football, and other major league sports are all forms of idolatry. Right?
Stadiums of people gather in mass to watch their favorite idols show off their athleticism. Let’s also not forget the copious amounts of beer. Tons of watered-down, cheap, light-beer. Cases upon cases and kegs upon kegs, all stacked on top of one another, ready to spring forth from the cheap taps for the herds of the idolatrous. Revolting!
But it doesn’t have to be.
Have you ever thanked God for entertainment?
It’s not a thought we hear a lot. In fact many famous preachers were against entertainment. They called it Idolatry. I’ve seen the quotes.
I bet those same preachers had a wife, children and church family that brought them much entertainment.
Marriage provides entertainment. Children provide entertainment. Fellowship provides entertainment. Yet we have no problem thanking God for any of these, despite knowing that all three can be a form of idolatry.
The thought of Christians thanking God for entertainment is sort of new in Church history. It’s something the puritans, because of lack of technology, didn’t really have a lot of time for. John Bunyan had to defend the Pilgrims Progress for not being senseless mind numbing idleness.
But the Bible says “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
John Piper recently tweeted
Whitefield spent two years of his life in a boat on thirteen trips between England and America. I murmur at a one hour delay.
The Gospel has gone out in such a way that Christian’s can work all day, come home and enjoy a good movie or television show with their family. We can go to a sports game 50 miles away from home and return to the house before midnight. All the while properly leading our families.
We have technology that allows plants to double their yield. We don’t have to hunt and kill to feed our family and the thought of McDonalds being short on food because of a potato famine is never a thought that crosses our minds.
We live in a world that has so been transformed by the Gospel that one can make millions of dollars, sitting at home blogging in his underwear and living off of Google Ads. (For the record, I am writing this in full clothing, in a shopping mall.)
The Gospel has given men leisure time, The Gospel is reversing the curse of the thorns.
The curse of the brow is being lifted. We can accomplish more in less time.
Have you ever thanked God for free time?
We have more freedom, not to be lazy or idle, but free time to enjoy time with our families, our Church and friends. Freedom to fellowship over a good movie or television series.
What a crazy thought it is that we serve a God who is glorified not just in our enjoyment of him, but in our enjoyment of things he gives us.
Now obviously God doesn’t desire us to idly waste time and become slothful. We still have to work. We still have things to do for the Kingdom that requires sweat and blood.
But Jesus’ ministry only lasted three years, and he still took vacations.
We serve a God who cares about our joy. Who in the Garden allowed man to view all the creatures he created and name them, and as a result of the fall placed the fear of man in their hearts.
Now we have zoos, bears riding bikes at the circus, and more photos of cats doing silly things than the internet can honestly handle.
Our God loves us and gives tangible, temporal gifts to us, for our joy.
Let’s not throw the gifts away because sin controls the industry. Let’s redeem the industry.
Whether it’s baseball, movies, film, books and a pretty well crafted, hoppy IPA.
- John Piper (@JohnPiper) href=”https://twitter.com/JohnPiper/statuses/365609076446597120″>August 8, 2013 ▲