I’m not a big soccer fan, so I’m amazed how passionate fans around the world are about their teams. I was recently in an airport in Ethiopia. While walking around the terminal, I was momentarily stunned by a loud “roar” of people. I mean it was really loud — a wall shaking, whip your head around, kind of loud.
I discovered where the noise came from. A restaurant/bar was two shops away. There was a large group of people with their eyes glued to a TV screen where two soccer teams were at it, and one had just scored a goal. It was a hand-clapping, back-patting, foot-stomping, yell at the top of your lungs minute. Nothing says, “We love our team” like losing your voice at a bar in Ethiopia!
This “over the top” enthusiasm reminds me of how God lavished His love on His Son during Jesus’ baptism. When Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, came down and settled on Him. But that wasn’t enough. There was more to this remarkable display. God gave a shout from heaven, “This is my Son, chosen and marked by My love, delight of My life” [Matthew 3.17 - The MESSAGE Paraphrase).
What a revelation of God’s character! No, God is not the cosmic killjoy. Neither is He cold, distant, and indifferent. And, what a joy it is to know that He loves all His children with such passion. Just think, He loves us the same way as He does His Son [1 John 1.3]. He loves His children and affectionately displays His love in every way possible!
And a voice from heaven said, “This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.” Matthew 3.17 - NLT