By Pastor Ron Buxton
Scott Entsminger was a true fan of the Cleveland Browns football team. In fact, as far as I can tell, he had been a life-long fan, and a season ticket holder for many years. For those of you familiar with that particular sports franchise, you can understand just how dedicated he was. This last calendar year their record was 0-16, and quite frankly, the previous years have not been much better. That’s why a close friend of mine calls the Cleveland Browns football organization–“the place where quarterbacks’ careers go to die!”
Apparently, Mr. Entsminger was also an accomplished musician, who loved playing guitar, and led a group called “The Old Fogies Band”–there in the Cleveland area. And amusingly, every year, he wrote a tongue-in-cheek song to lampoon his favorite team, which he sent to that team’s front office. Enclosed with that music demo, he would pass along some words of “advice” on how they could better run their organization. You can imagine how thrilled those front office people would be each year when that package arrived!
Unfortunately, this life-long fan of those lowly Cleveland Browns passed away in 2013. And this is where this true story gets stranger than fiction–and quite comical. Though the death of any individual is no laughing matter, the following incident clearly indicates how much of a sense of humor this man had. No doubt, it was his humor that motivated his family members to coordinate his funeral such as they did.
Everyone that attended his funeral was strongly encouraged to wear jerseys, hats, and other clothing items that endorsed the Cleveland Browns. And a few days before the actual funeral an official letter, from the family, was sent to the front office of that organization with an unusual request. The request was for pallbearers for his funeral, with the actual words from that letter reading: “We respectfully request six Cleveland Brown’s players—so that the Browns can let him down one last time!”
That was a true story, but all kidding aside, life itself certainly has a way of letting us down. If we were to take a serious look at the events and circumstances of our own lives, we would have to admit that. Invariably, life will often let us down.
I’ve lived long enough to have attended more funerals than weddings. Tragically, as our nation ages–demographically speaking– that number will probably trend in the same direction. And for those who are increasingly unaware of life’s origin and meaning, there will be a trend towards more despair and hopelessness. You see, sociologists call it the YOLO generation–the You-Only-Live-Once mentality of post modernism. It’s a sad, but true societal phenomenon.
Allow me to say a few words of encouragement here. You were amazingly made in the “image of God”–and that part inside of you which most religions refer to as your “soul”–is indestructible! Think about this: you do not have a soul. You are a soul–which has a body. And that soul was made to permanently connect with your Creator. However, it is your separation from your Creator that makes life seem to let you down, time after time.
The “bad news” is that we really can’t connect with God with our own efforts, or according to our own terms. Metaphorically speaking, we are like that elderly person from the old “Life Alert” TV commercials. We’ve fallen, and we can’t get up! If the truth be told–we have let our own selves down, and continue to do so.
The “good news” is that Jesus Christ will never let you down. In fact, He went “down” so that you could go “up” with Him! Receive His offer of eternal life! You see, simple faith in the redemptive work of Christ will never let you down!