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“Go CATS!” In my little corner of the world those two little words unify everyone. Old, young, black, white, rich, poor, fanatic or just casual occupant of Kentucky, nearly everyone loves the Kentucky Wildcats. During March Madness this is especially true: if there is a lull in conversation, just simply ask, “So, how about them Cats?” and you are sure to reignite the convo.
As I rode around campus on a moped with one of my best friends waving a huge UK flag, honking, waving, and shouting “Go CATS!” (at age 27 mind you!) a thought crossed my mind: what on earth would cause a fully grown man to spontaneously react in such a way?
Just for the record, I have never played basketball for the University of Kentucky. I have never practiced with the team or been a member of the coaching staff. I have, however, been a fan for as long as I can remember, and I think being a Kentucky fan is a great illustration of two things we all crave: 1) We want to be on the winning team, and 2) We love to celebrate.
Who doesn’t like to win? What’s humorous about being a fan is that I literally do nothing to contribute to the win or the loss of the Wildcats. Even when I wear a lucky hat or shirt when I watch the game it actually doesn’t affect the outcome at all. If you are a Christian this has got to ring a bell. Jesus is our advocate and he was a straight WINNER! He loved perfectly, fought sin perfectly, was perfectly generous, perfectly patient… the list goes on and on. Even when we think our “lucky hat” contribution mattered, it really didn’t!
Jeremiah 9:24 says, “but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” We were created to be a fan of the winner! Jesus is the perfect winner and the only cause for boasting.
We also love to celebrate, especially when we win. There is something about the response to the win that somehow gives it meaning. Imagine if Aaron Harrison hit that shot against Louisville/Michigan/Wisconsin and the crowd went silent. Imagine if the fans at home didn’t react at all. Imagine if the team didn’t surround him with victory hugs, but just dryly marched off the court, emotionless, without cutting down the nets. What a bummer! The win would be so much less meaningful.
1 Peter 1:8 says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” This is how we respond to a win of this magnitude: inexpressible joy! I think we love to celebrate because it is how God made us. The reason we love the camaraderie that “Go CATS” brings is that we were meant to celebrate the good news what Jesus came to conquer sin and death and that by believing in his name we can have abundant life!
As I rode around honking, waving, and going nuts after the UK win, I longed for the day when we can celebrate like that every day! One day we will be able to see Jesus in all his glory and throw a party that is crazier than any Kentucky fan could dream up! Burning couches will pale in comparison to the wild Christians in heaven going NUTS.
As for tonight……..GOOOOOOOO CATS!!!!!!!!!!