If you’re a rabid sports fan, you probably have a closet full of jerseys representing your favorite teams. Most of them have the last name of a famous athlete scrawled across the back. If you aren’t a sports fan, I know you’ve seen these wearable shrines.

I’ll admit, I have a few of these jerseys among my wardrobe. Wearing them makes you feel one with the player and the team. You’re showing your support by dressing as your sporting heroes. You’re displaying your respect and admiration for all they have accomplished. At times your allegiance may even transcend the sport. Maybe you are a fan of an athlete because of what they stand for off of the field as much as their play on the field.

What’s troubling is, I’m paying to wear the name of a person that I will never meet. They will never know me or even care that I admire them. In fact, if I met them in person and got to know them, I probably wouldn’t like them. That seems to go with celebrity, they are often unpleasant people.

This is equaled by any famous person not just athletes. Actors, politicians, and performers may have talents we admire. We wear their name and image and support their cause, but we have no relationship with them.

What if we approached fandom from a different perspective? What if you went down to your local t-shirt store (do they exist?? lets pretend they do) and ordered a slew of shirts with the last name of a person you know who is facing turmoil in their lives?

Imagine visiting the bedside of a friend waging war against cancer wearing a shirt emblazoned with their name on the back. You admire and respect an elder in your congregation for the advice and guidance he has given you over the years, so you splay his name across your back. Real people you know and have a relationship with that deserve your respect and admiration.

To carry it further, what if you plastered the name of your Savior across everything you wore? We are often proud to wear the colors of our favorite teams, but less comfortable wearing our faith on our back.

We don’t backdown when proudly sporting our team’s jersey at an unfriendly away game, but do we do the same in a world which is unfriendly turf to all who love God? Are we afraid to proudly show our true colors, who we are deep down, far beyond a sports fan… a Jesus fan?

I have no dispute with sports fans, I’m one myself. When I spend $75 to show my love for an athletic club I’m telling the world that my team is important to me. Isn’t it more important that I tell the world that Jesus is the most important thing to me? After all, He is someone I will meet one day and He knows the number of hairs on my head.

This is bigger that what I choose to wear. This is about who I am, what I talk about, and how I support those in need. When I live for Jesus, not sports, the world we see my true colors and I might just have a chance of recruiting some more players to His team.

How do you show your support for His team?

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2 Responses to Whose Name is on the Back of Your Jersey?

  1. David says:

    Good thoughts Rob,

    In consideration of your thoughts…I don’t just try to put on Jesus’ jersey, I try to put Him on…Gal 3:27.

    Thanks for the good work


  2. Rob West says:

    Thanks, David. That’s exactly what I hope we all will do.


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