2 Corinthians 5: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Thesportster.com carried an article entitled “The Best and the Worst NHL Captains in Every Canadian Teams History”. One example came from the storied Edmonton Oilers. Wayne Gretzky, also known as “The Great One”, served as Edmonton’s captain from 1983 to 1988 during which time the Oilers won four Stanley Cups. While with the Oilers, Gretzky was a scoring machine with 1,668 points and a +551 plus/minus rating in only 696 regular season games. He produced a further 252 points in 120 playoff games. Wayne Gretzky did justice to the “C” (Captain) on his shirt.
In contrast, the article takes aim at Edmonton Oiler captain Shane Corson who spent three seasons with the Oilers and served as captain for the 1994-95 season. “He was an odd choice for captain considering his past troubles and reputation in the NHL, like being suspended and getting into bar fights. According to several reports, he had a bad attitude during his time in Edmonton and even got into an altercation with a teammate over credit for an assist. He ended up getting the “C” stripped away from him and the Oilers failed to make the playoffs with the second worst record in their conference.”[i]
I was preparing for a men’s conference and reviewed the content with my pastor. I was making the assertion that all Christians are not disciples. I believe they should be, if they are true believers, but the reality is they are not. The Greek word for “disciple” is mathetes which means “student”, “learner” and “follower”. Together it means someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another. I said that there was a period in my life where I was a Christian, but I was not a devoted follower of Christ. Pastor Dan said he agreed and summed it up: “What I am in Position, I need to become in Practise”. I like that, and it really summed up the struggle.
Wearing the “C” (captain) designation carries with it respect, but ultimately all eyes are on the player to see if they demonstrate captain-like attributes. There is certainly an expectation to see superior skill, but even more, there is an expectation of behaviour. The captain is expected to lead by example, control emotions on the team, inspire where required, and calm when that is needed. The captain is expected to act maturely.
Today’s scripture says that: “… if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) When we accept Christ we have a new position in Christ. We are told that the old self is gone, and there is a new person. We wear the “C” on our shirt from that day forward. That is our position. The great question, however, is: do we put the position into practise? Once we accept Christ, we should be on a continual path of sanctification, becoming more and more like Christ. In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome he said: “6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” (Romans 6:6)
Are you just carrying around a dim, worn-out “C” on your chest that no one recognizes or is your life evidence of the position you have in Christ? Have you put your position into practise?