Buckeye fans are everywhere! This was confirmed by the comments I received from numerous strangers while vacationing in Florida and proudly displaying my Ohio State University attire. I also noticed that my dad received similar attention from fellow University of Kentucky basketball fans when he wore his UK shirt and hat while we were out at restaurants and other venues. Enthusiastic Buckeye fans continue to celebrate their team’s latest success by giving a thumbs up, or shouting “O-H!” with the expected response of “I-O!” when encountering a fellow fan in a public place. It’s fun and easy to be able to identify with perfect strangers who would otherwise barely exchange a second glance with us. Most of the comments regarding the Buckeyes were positive, although I received a few sarcastic remarks from fans of rival teams and of “that school up north.” Either way, I enjoyed the attention and camaraderie with fans who reside far away from our state.

   Such is also the case with fellow Christians. No matter where we go, we can identify with our brothers and sisters in Christ who share the same passion and love for one another and our Lord and Savior. Sally and I found this to be true when we attended an enjoyable worship service with former members of our church who relocated to Florida, Jim and Pat Farler. While it was easy to identify with those who were singing, praising and worshipping with us in a church setting, it may not be as easy to spot fellow Christians who we encounter on the street and in the public places that we visit. We don’t often wear clothing that identifies us as fans of Christ. Imagine if another Christian shouted a Christian cheer to us such as “J-E!” and we responded with an enthusiastic “S-U-S!” when he or she passed us on the street! That is unlikely to happen. We are left to more conventional means to reveal our identity as fans of Jesus by our words, our attitudes and our actions.

   One way that we can express our enthusiasm for Christ is with our generosity and service to others. Our youth group has been able to do that in a variety of ways by serving at local ministries such as
Victory Ministries, Manna Cafe and Mustard Seed Street Outreach. This July, our youth group is going to Tennessee to partner with other Christian youth groups in service to the needy residents of the Appalachian Mountains. Our youth will participate in a number of fundraising efforts in the coming months to pay for their trip. Please pray for them and consider providing financial support. You will certainly be identified as fellow fan of Christ by the youth group and me!

Blessings and peace!