There are many things I truly enjoy about football on Sunday afternoons. The strategy, competition, and “participating” by cheering for the Packers and/or my fantasy team. It all usually energizes me, though sometimes a nap does take me instead!

Unexpectedly, I am also enjoying a relatively new wrinkle in celebrating big plays, like scoring touchdowns or taking the ball away from the other team. Increasingly, teams are celebrating such events with synchronized, practiced movements in order to share the joy of the accomplishment with teammates part of the play and fans watching.

It didn’t used to be that way. If there was celebrating, it was often done only by the person who scored. They might spike the ball or do a solo celebratory dance.  On this, I tended to align with Vince Lombardi, who said, “When you get into the end zone, act like you’ve been there before.” In other words, act like you expected to be there and don’t make a big deal about it.

I think differently now. I appreciate more the release of joy and sharing of satisfaction for the great effort exerted, risks taken, and costs paid by pro football players, in order to have successful outcomes as a team!  Such celebrations also remind me of Christmas…

The night God became one of us in Christ, born vulnerably into poverty and obscurity, there was a great release of celebratory joy. The angels didn’t keep it to themselves or act like it was no big deal. They shared “news of great joy for all people” with humble shepherds “outside the stadium” and helped them find the “main event” born in a stable and wrapped up in an animal feeding trough. Later, they helped ignite love celebrations in broader circles of outsiders.

Let’s do it too, sharing God’s joy together, wherever!