Bowling With Christ: Pin #10 – The Air of the Holy Spirit
How are you doing? This…is…it! Today we let the bowling ball fly and not knock down all the pins! Today, we talk about Pin #10! Ever the course of several weeks, we have been bowling with Christ and learning how bowling can teach us who Christ is and what Christ does in our life.
So far we have talked about the following pins:
Pin #1: The realization that Christ is in the game of bowling, and that Christ is the front pin in which we aim to get every time we go bowling. Christ is the leader pin, the king pin, and the one out in front.
Pin#2: The alley….A straight and narrow path is the exact path a bowling ball needs to travel to hit all ten of the pins. A little to the left or right and you might only get a few or end up with a split or even perhaps in the gutter. In life, sometimes what Jesus needs us to aim for gets skewed or messed up because we want something else; and therefore, our path gets a little catawampus and wavy and all over the place. We only get a few pins of Jesus’ plan instead of getting all the pins of Jesus’ plan. Just like the bowling ball, once it leaves our hands, impacts the floor, and begins its journey toward the pins, we seek to remain on the path that leads to Jesus and avoids the gutter–avoids a path that is catawampus.
Pin#3: The bumpers in our life, just like the bumpers on the bowling alley, help us to bounce back toward Christ, and they help us to refocus and to center ourselves on the path forward. The bumpers are there to keep us out of trouble so that we can knock all ten pins down.
Pin#4: Each bowling ball has a different weight, every bowling ball was created to accomplish the same task: knock down as many pins as possible. God has created all of us in a special and unique way–no one is truly identical–with the same goal: to help others, care for others, pick others up, and love others with our whole heart.
Pin#5: The Ball Return Machine is our reminder that we can always return to Christ. Even when we cross over the foul line or get lost or get scared, there is always a way to return to Christ.
Pin#6: Bowling pins are the tasks in life that Christ needs us to knock down. Whether we knock down one or all ten, Christ needs us to do our best to accomplish the tasks before us so that we can help build his kingdom here on earth.
Pin#7: The Foul Line is what separates us from the good and the bad. If we cross over the foul line we are getting farther away from Christ; but if we remain behind the foul line, then we have a better chance of staying safe under Christ’s protection and away from the bad stuff.
Pin#8: Bowling Shoes prepare us to go bowling. Without bowling shoes, bowling is rather difficult because we can’t slide or glide as we release the bowl. In life, we wear shoes to protect our feet and to prepare us where Christ needs us to go.
And Pin#9: Last week we talked about bowling jerseys. Paul wrote in his letter to the people of Ephesus, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place…” (Ephesians 6:14). This breastplate of righteousness is our jersey. It teaches us two things. First, by wearing the breastplate of righteousness, the jersey of Christ, we are part of a unified team: we are part of God’s team. God has given us a jersey of righteousness so that we will be distinguished or recognized in this world as being one who has Jesus in their heart. Second, by wearing the breastplate of righteousness, we are protected and prepared to build God’s bowling team. From this jersey of righteousness we are cloaked with God’s love and forgiveness and protection and clothed with the garment of doing what is right in the sight of God. God wants you to wear this jersey wherever you go because not only will He be able to find you when you are in trouble, but others will see you and want the same jersey that you have. So, when Paul says that we have “the breastplate of righteousness, ” he means that we have been given a bowling jersey that makes us part of God’s bowling team: the best team ever. The next time you go bowling, find a shirt that you think represents the jersey of God. You are part of God’s team and God will protect you wherever you go.
This leads us to the last and final pin: Pin number Ten! On many bowling alleys, there are blowers near where the balls rest. You can think of this blower as an inverted hand dryer: instead of blowing air in a downward motion, it blows air in an upward motion. This blower is used to clean the hands of the bowler so that their fingers can easily fit into the holes on a bowling ball. (Some bowlers may use towels to clean their hands!) You may be asking yourself, “What do these blowers teach us about Christ?” My response: these bowlers are the Holy Spirit that keeps us clean and ready to carry out the mission of Christ.
After returning to the disciples after his resurrection, Jesus says to them in John 20, “Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit‘” (John 20:21-22). Jesus breathed on the disciples and the disciples received the Holy Spirit: they became clean and prepared to do the work of Christ. The air that comes out of the blower reminds us of the Holy Spirit that Jesus is giving us so that we, too, can become clean and ready to do his work. Without the Holy Spirit in our life, we aren’t fully ready to go bowling with Christ. We need the Holy Spirit, the breath of Christ, the air from the blower before we can even begin bowling. The next time you get ready to pick up your bowling ball and clean your hands, remember to tell yourself, “I am receiving the Holy Spirit.”
Who would have ever thought that a simply game of bowling could teach us so much about who Christ is and what Christ does for us on a daily basis?! The next time you go bowling, remind yourself that you are bowling with Christ!! So what do you say? As my favorite childhood game, Silly Six Pins, says, “Let’s get the ball rolling!!”
Your Friend, Holy Spirit!
September 17, 2023
September 10, 2023
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