Something is missing from this board. There is a church. It’s right by the “Get married” space. The directions say that everyone must stop at the church and get married. But that’s it. There are no other spiritual references anywhere else on the board. Nothing about Christ, his Word – just this church off in this little corner of the board/game of life. Who wins at this game? The player with the most money at the end of the game. Just another version of “He who dies with the most toys wins.”
Many play the game of life this way, with an obsessive earthbound focus. Not much thought given to Christ and his Word. It’s easy to buy into this and become pretty self-obsessed and self-absorbed that we even come to believe that life really is all about me and doing things my way.
Here’s the reality of life for the Christian: Jesus is the center of our lives. We might want to ignore that or try to have Jesus come alongside as we take our journey through life, but he must be at the center. We have his promise, “Surely I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20) and we have his description of our relationship (which will be shared with Trinity’s confirmands this coming weekend): “I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him is the one who bears much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”
Our response as confessing Christians both younger and older? Let’s look at our game of Life again. Where’s Jesus in your life now? Is he even on the board? Or is church all there is – simply placing one’s posterior in a pew once in a while?
Here’s the deal. Jesus is the center of life. He’s not on the edge, he’s not optional, he’s not one of many paths to take to “win the game,” to get to heaven. He is it, the only way to heaven. So, Jesus and his Word must be at the center of life.
If not, then it’s not going to matter if you retire a millionaire 50 years from now or are already one. Because you will be poor beyond words. If Jesus and his Word aren’t THE center, then all the accomplishments, and achievements, and accolades and awards and degrees you collect won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on.
But if you hold to Jesus’ teaching and you remain in his Word all life long, you will be blessed beyond measure: now and into eternity.
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand