24 February 2024

Sports mission: Revealing God's trophies of grace

Rob Moye

A photo shows a close-up of a football from the Carabao Cup.

Ahead of the Carabao Cup Final, Rob Moye challenges us to be a bold, Spirit-led team.

This Sunday, Chelsea and Liverpool will play their hearts out in front of thousands of passionate football fans at Wembley Stadium. Both clubs will view the 2023–24 Carabao Cup Final as an excellent opportunity to secure silverware this season. Key tackles, focused tactics, VAR, wonder goals, set plays, impact subs, changes of formations and breaking the lines will all play a huge part in who eventually lifts the trophy heavenwards and nets the prize.

The Carabao Cup is the English Football League’s showpiece cup competition and is one of the three major honours of the domestic football season. Liverpool have been the most successful club in the history of the cup, having won it nine times, while Chelsea have won five times.

When a team wins a competition, each squad member receives a trophy proving that they were part of the winning group. As believers, however, we are trophies of grace. We are proof and demonstration of God’s great love and kindness, which were demonstrated through the greatest prize ever: Jesus! ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God’ (Ephesians 2:8).

We are, or can be, God’s trophies of grace – not won, but given by everyday faith. This isn’t necessarily in the search for awards, trophies, winning and achievement, but in our daily rhythmic walk with him. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life.

Whether it be blue or red ribbons on the trophy this weekend, it will be a learning experience for both teams. There is always an opportunity to review things post-match, which will provide a way forward for each team. As Gareth Southgate, the England men’s senior manager, has expressed many times, every step taken is progress, even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time.

We, too, must regularly review every aspect of our journey. Our God is on the move. Are we willing to move with him?

Looking at the year ahead, what are your team tactics? Might sport be the mission opportunity for you and others to move out from your secure communities to wider pitches, and engage God’s world with love and vulnerability?

On 29 and 30 June, Christians from across the territory will gather at Sport, Faith, Life to be inspired, equipped and educated for a life of sports mission.

This year, let us be thankful for God’s gift of magnificent grace in our lives. Let us move out of our comfort zones with confidence so that we learn new things, discover different viewpoints, forge new relationships and broaden our horizons. And let us be willing to be bold, Holy Spirit-led trophies of grace in a world that needs us to be a team more than ever before. ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’ (Ephesians 2:10).

Reflect and respond

Written by

Photo of Rob Moye.

Rob Moye

Sports Mission Specialist, THQ

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