The hallways, the classrooms, the concourse, the lecture hall, the fellowship hall, the kitchen, every single square foot of space here at Legacy is being transformed for Give Away Day October 13. About a hundred of us stayed after yesterday morning’s assembly to unload the trailers and set up the racks and shelves and tables and chairs. Hundreds of boxes of clothes and linens and towels and toys and shoes and coats — new and used — are being sorted this week. And I’m fully aware of the vision, the faith, and the guts it takes as a congregation to pull this off.
It’s big. It’s almost overwhelming. And I’m so grateful for those who had the vision and faith and guts 21 years ago when this all started, and the ones who keep the vision alive with their own faith and guts year in and year out. Give Away Day is part of our Gospel story at Legacy. It is one of the biggest ways we, as a church family, join God in his work of reconciling creation back to him by reaching out in love and compassion to his people.
In last night’s assembly we shared our Give Away Day stories. Charley Potter told us how it all began with the Pipeline church helping that first lady with coats for her kids. Kenzie Brewer, one of our teens, talked about the impact Give Away Day has had on her and how her views of what we do have matured and grown as she’s grown up around the event. And then David Byrnes capped it all with a touching story about his dad and that Nike jacket he “gave” to a person who needed it at Give Away Day.
I think telling the stories behind our traditions is important. That appeal to a common memory connects us to those who went before us, those on whose shoulders we’re standing today. Keeping and repeating our traditions reminds us that it’s so much bigger than “me,” that our God was working in his world and in this church long before I got here and he’ll be working in his world and in this church long after I leave.
It was barely more than controlled chaos yesterday. But it was shared by little kids, teenagers, young adults, singles, marrieds, whole families, newly retired, widows, and the elderly. We’re all in it together. And it’s beautiful.
Good grief, the pitiful Rams were missing eight starters yesterday due to injury or suspension before the game even began. And before it was over three more had gone down. That doesn’t even consider Marc Bulger who started the afternoon with two broken ribs and maybe woke up this morning with a couple more. That also doesn’t factor in the St. Louis kicker who missed a chip shot that would have given his team the lead in the first half. The Rams haven’t scored an offensive touchdown now in 30 consecutive possessions!
And look at the quarterbacks the Cowboys have faced in their last three games: Bulger, Rex Grossman (who’s been since benched), and Trent Green (who’s about to be benched). The Giants, Dolphins, Bears, and Rams are a combined 3-13! What do we really know about this Cowboys team? How do we know if they’re any good?
And I keep coming back to this one fact, all last night and all day today. I have nothing to say in argument against this one fact.
It’s tough to get wins in the NFL.
You can pit the best team in the league against the worst team in the league and never really know how it’s going to turn out. Most NFL games are working with a Vegas spread of six-points or less. They’re all close. And they all come down to just a couple of plays here and there. The great teams lose games they’re supposed to win. And the bad teams always win a couple they’re supposed to lose.
And that’s what impresses me about what the Cowboys have done in their first four games. They’re not just winning. They’re killing. They’re making it look easy. And there’s nothing about the NFL that’s easy. They’re winning by an average of 19.8 points per game. They scored three touchdowns in eleven plays at one point in the third quarter yesterday. And there are some NFL teams that couldn’t do that if they were playing against folding chairs and orange cones.
I’ve got nothing today. Nothing. Nothing but admiration for Romo and Crayton and Witten and Ware and Reeves and James and Davis.
To win is one thing. It’s an entirely different thing to make it look so easy.