The scenes of celebration which adorned the streets of Adelaide following the winning of their first AFL premiership last week were amazing to behold. Thirty thousand people gathered to welcome the team home, and countless others gathered on street corners, in homes and pubs, and sundry other venues to celebrate a sporting victory. My initial response was one of incredulity — after all it’s only a game of football! It seems that the intensity of these celebrations increases each year, perhaps an indication of the amount of effort expended in winning a Grand Final.

As I continued to reflect on the celebrations which adorned our news bulltins during the early part of the week, my mind was drawn to another celebration spoken about by Jesus, and depicted in scripture: the party to end all parties — the party which celebrates the arrival of the kingdom. If the celebrations of a football win brought this sense of jubilation, how much more then will there be joy in the celebration of the kingdom! And the intensity of that celebration will be great because of the extreme difficulty which is involved in remaining faithful to Jesus through the circumstances of life.

Let me encourage each of us to continue to ‘hang in there’ when the going is tough, when each week seems to bring a battle against the ‘top team’ on unfavourable turf. To hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant” will mark an invitation to enter into the greatest celebration of all time.

October 5, 1997
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