I recently attended the state Lutheran soccer tournament in St. Pete along with my family. It was a fun day of sports and sunshine and fellowship. Well, most of it was fun. In one of the games an agitated parent from another school yelled from the sidelines for the players on her team to “trip ‘em – trip ‘em all!” On an adjacent field to ours the aftermath of another hard fought game led to parents screaming and yelling and pointing fingers at folks from the other school while others took video with their phones. It wasn’t pretty. Don’t worry though – St. Luke’s fans were pretty chill for the entire day 🙂

I’ve been thinking about that day in the context of our theme for this school year “Love First” based on Romans 5:8. It’s easy to love others when they’re nice and pleasant and kind towards you. It’s also easy to love when your team is winning! It’s a lot harder when things aren’t going your way or people are mean and rude to you. But Proverbs 17:17 tell us, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” I’ll confess that when that parent from the other school was implicitly threatening injury to our kids my blood started to boil a little bit. I started thinking about what I would say to her in my oh so righteous anger. Then I thought, well Rod that’s not exactly loving first, is it? I’d like to tell you I responded with some thoughtfully loving language. Instead, I just kept my mouth shut (that’s progress, right???) God calls on us to love at all times. Let’s ask for His help to do so – particularly when the score’s not in our favor.