He’s coming home. LeBron James is coming back to Cleveland. A text message saying “He’s back” was on my phone Friday afternoon, and I knew I needed to head to www.espn.com post-haste. I knew right away it was about King James. At first, it was hard to believe. But, it was confirmed, in his own words, “I’m coming home”. He wrote to the people of Cleveland, “sometimes I feel like their son” and “I want to give them hope…I want to inspire them”
Now to the person who doesn’t connect with sports. Those words seem ludicrous to you. Sure, if a war hero said these words, you could understand, but a man who plays a sport. How could one man cause this much headlines from sports pages to national news? How could one man bring hope to an entire city? As if the city was Gotham or Metropolis…not Cleveland.
As a pastor, I could not help but think of another man. These words that are being thrown around about LeBron James were written about another man some 2000 years ago. Before you dismiss this article as cheeky or irreverent, just think of the events of the last 4 days and the phrases that are being thrown around…
Hope. (I Peter 1:3) LeBron said in his letter to Cleveland that he wants to give hope to the city. Hope of what? A gold trophy that most likely will be passed to another team a year later? Hope is a word that should be reserved for what the Savior gives us each day. That even though today is hard, there is hope for tomorrow.
Left Paradise Behind. (Philippians 2:7) My apologies to Cleveland, LeBron just left the sandy beaches of South Beach to come to Cleveland. But this was nothing compared to the place our Savior left. He left heaven to be born in a feeding trough for animals.
2nd Coming. (John 14:1-3) You would think with these types of headlines, and the hoopla surrounding the announcement, we would be talking about the 2nd coming of another man. Nope. We are talking about a basketball player.
Picks His Team. (Luke 5:1-11) LeBron had his pick of where he wanted to play and who he wanted to play with. He essentially picked his team. He even helped his former team pick in the draft, and then left. But instead of choosing the equivalent an all-star point guard and the team with the #1 pick in the draft, we see Jesus choosing guys from the YMCA men’s leagues. He chose guys like you and me, ordinary people, even some outcasts of society, to be on his team.
King. (Revelation 11:15) The King Returns. LeBron is back. King James. I realize these are nicknames given, but are misused. The King who will return, and take his rightful place on His eternal throne…that will be worth way more than a max contract.
Son. (Luke 19:10) LeBron calls himself a Son of Northeast Ohio, who will come to bring hope and inspiration to his hometown. Jesus called himself the Son of Man. He came to seek and save the lost, and bring hope and inspiration to the world.
You see why now I can’t help but think of a greater Savior, a greater King, a more humble Son. The bigger headline should be reserved for the one that can truly bring hope to all the nations. Jesus. And although His 2nd coming may be talked about less today, one day it will put everyone on one knee.