Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Joy to the World...Cup

What is that, you may be wondering. Well, that is the trophy that you receive if you win the FIFA World Cup. The FIFA World Cup is the largest tournament in any sport (this doesn't include the Olympics as those are several different sports. I'm simply referring to within one sport). This is the most sought after trophy out there. Every four years, 32 teams from around the world gather in one place to compete. The greatest of the greatest, the best of the best, the world's elite all come with their A-game, ready to throw down and give it all they got. This isn't just a cross town or even cross country rivalry. This isn't just for the fame and glory of your specific team in one region. This is for the whole shebang. These players represent their entire country, and are vying for world recognition. This is the WORLD Cup. This is truly the only international, worldwide tournament, which is why it's such a big deal to win it. There is no other trophy that has as much pomp, holds as much grandeur, or claims the most respect as this. It's small and simple, but is most coveted above all other trophies. Who wouldn't want a little of that?
Most soccer (football) players will never even enter into the World Cup. That's just how it goes. Only 32 teams can enter, and of all the hundreds, if not thousands of players in each country, not many will get to have that experience. Even the best players who do make it to their national team may never have that opportunity. Some countries just aren't good enough. But anyone who plays soccer and pursues it as far as they can dreams of making it to the World Cup and getting that trophy. It's something they've grown up watching and fantasizing about. For many, it's a life long goal, and for those who have realized it, it's something they looked forward to all their lives.
Before the coming of the Messiah, Prophets had prophesied of His coming. Prophets such as Hosea, Isaiah, and others gave us things to look for: they told of His birth, His ministry, and His death. The Jews looked longingly for the Savior and Messiah, one who would rescue them. Eventually, the idea became one of a political savior, one to come and rescue them from bondage and restore Israel to glory. The expected a king, a conqueror to come and lead them to power. That was not what the Christ's mission was to be. It was never intended to be, and no prophets had even hinted at that idea. He was to be born in humble circumstances, and be rather low key. He wasn't going to be a warrior or a general, and He wasn't going to fight any wars. The Christ's purpose was to save us from our sins.
Those who looked for the Savior were well acquainted with the many prophecies of Him. He was the most anticipated of births. Everyone wanted the Messiah to come. It was a long awaited arrival. Just like the players who practice and train all their lives to have the opportunity to play in the World Cup, and achieve amazing glory of winning, the Jews longed for the greatest prize of all: Salvation. However, just like those players who, while hard working and achieving much individual success, just couldn't achieve the grandeur of the World Cup, there were many who missed the wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father. They disregarded this humble Jesus as simply a carpenter's son, and no one of real significance. Because of their own pride, they rejected the Man they had been waiting for their whole life.
Jesus Christ and his Atonement are the greatest things to happen to us as humans. Because of the gift of the Father of His Son, and the gift of Christ of the Atonement, we are able to have Salvation. As much as I'd love to win the World Cup, this is a much better award. I'll take it. Remember this this Christmas season, and don't worry about the little things. Remember: Christ is the reason for the season.

1 comment:

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