For the Love of the Game

It’s FIFA World Cup time, which usually means reminding Americans that soccer still exists.

This is doubly true because America failed to qualify for the first time since 1986. Soccer heads have already determined that Germany has the best chance to win… again. Soccer is fun to mock, but it’s an interesting social phenomenon in America. Only 1% of Americans over age 55 name soccer as their favorite sport, in contrast to 11% of those under 35 (twice as popular as baseball).

What makes soccer really fascinating is the money. The average soccer player’s salary in 2015 was $226,000. The average salary from football/basketball/hockey/baseball was $3.25 million. Soccer players elsewhere make far more: Lionel Messi pockets $60m/year. So American soccer isn’t, relatively speaking, lucrative. You have to play soccer in America because you love the game.

Why you follow Jesus matters.

Is that true for our Christianity, too? Are we in this because it’s respectable, because it’s all we know, because it’s duty, because it’s convenient – or are we Christians because we love playing life with Jesus? Why you follow Jesus matters.

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