Story of the Day for Wednesday July 6, 2011
Treat Him as You Wish
He who was from the beginning, we have heard. We have seen him with our eyes. We have looked at him and touched him.
1 John 1:1
He’s one of the most well-known guys you’ve never heard of. His title (who could make this up?) is: The Right Honourable Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Baron Stanley of Preston, in the County of Lancaster, in the Peerage of Great Britain, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath. But hockey fans know him well; in all of sports, Lord Stanley’s Cup is the most coveted of all trophies.
When a team wins a championship, players hoist the trophy above their shoulders and their fans go wild. And then what? Then they put the trophy in a glass case where you can see it, but can’t touch it. The Stanley Cup is different. When a hockey team wins the Stanley Cup, each player is allowed to take it home with them for a day or two, and his name is engraved on it.
Many players take the Stanley Cup to a gymnasium where adoring crowds stand in line to have their photo taken of them touching the Cup. Others travel with the Cup. It has made the journey to Europe and to igloos among the Eskimos. The Stanley Cup has been kissed and adored. But it has also been neglected and abused.
In 1903, Ottawa won the Cup and had their team photograph taken in the studio of Jimmy Rice. It wasn’t until the next season that someone realized the Cup was missing. Since the player’s last remembered seeing it at the Rice studio, they asked Jimmy Rice about it. Rice hadn’t seen it either. But he asked the cleaning lady if she had.
“Oh, is that what it is.” She then explained that she took it home, filled it with potting soil, and was using it to grow geraniums.
Another year, Ottawa won the Stanley Cup again. Some team members were drunk enough that trying to punt the Cup across the frozen Rideau Canal seemed like a good idea. Someone found it the next day lying in the middle of the ice.
Montreal players threw the Stanley Cup in the trunk of a car and drove to a party. When they had a flat tire, they pulled the Cup out of the trunk, and set it by the side of the road. Only after they got to the party did they realize they had left the Stanley Cup lying by the side of the road.
The Stanley Cup isn’t a trophy that collects dust in a glass case. It is revered, but it has also been lost, stolen, dented, and abused.
To many, God is remote and unapproachable – like a trophy removed from the people by a glass case. But the story of the Bible is about the God who chose to come to earth. When he was a boy, his parents lost him for a few days. The crowds sometimes mobbed him in breathless excitement, but also grabbed him to throw him off a cliff. Some spit in his face and rained blows to his head; another knelt to wash his dusty feet with her tears and kisses.
You can curse Jesus, ignore him or bow before him in worship. The only thing you can’t do is claim that God is remote. He let the world treat him as they wished.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)