A young man who was an All-American football player in college went back to his alma mater as an assistant coach. One of his main responsibilities in his new job would be to go out and scout and recruit players for his college team.
Before he made his first recruiting trip, he went in to visit with the head coach, the same coach for whom he had played when he was there in college some years before. The head coach was a crusty old veteran. He had held that position as head coach for many years, was widely known and highly respected all across the country. The new young coach said to him, “Coach, I’m about to head out on my first recruiting trip, but before I go I want to be sure that we are on the same page. Tell me, Coach, what kind of player do you want me to recruit?”
The crusty old head coach leaned back in his chair. He looked the young coach straight in the eyes and said: “Son, I’ve been at this job a long time and over the years I have noticed that there are several different kinds of players. For example,” he said, “you will find some players who get knocked down and they stay down. That’s not the kind we want!”
And he said, “You will find some players who get knocked down and they will get right back up and get knocked down again and then they stay down. That’s not the kind we want!”
And then the old coach said, “But you will also find some other players who get knocked down and knocked down and knocked down, and every time they get knocked down, they get right back up!”
At this point, the young coach got excited and he said, “Now, that’s the kind of player we want, isn’t it, Coach?”
“No!” said the old head coach. “We want the one doing all that knocking down!!”
Yes, we are called to be strong and to stand firm and to get back up when were been knocked down – and we commend people like that for being for being people of great faith. We must also remember that we in the church are called to knock down walls of hate and hostility and unforgiveness – and to build bridges of love and reconciliation .
“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14)
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)