This next chapter of 2 Timothy continues the theme of “loyalty” to Paul, to the gospel, and to Jesus. And loyalty is something we often talk about in our own culture, too.
Loyalty in Sport
A couple of years ago, I read a true story about a lifelong, diehard fan of the Cleveland Browns. Now I’m a big fan of American football – and I’ll be seeing my first live NFL game this Sunday in Nashville, which is conveniently the day after the annual conference of the Academy of Homiletics. (This job has the occasional perq.) But I’m guessing many of you aren’t all that up to speed, so a bit of background is in order. The Cleveland Browns is the team that never wins. They’ve never played in a Superbowl. Most years they end up coming last in their division. Life’s tough if you’re a Browns fan.
But you get used to it, apparently. To the point where this lifelong supporter pre-wrote his own obituary column. It was then published after his death in July 2013. In it he requested that the six pallbearers at his funeral be players from the Cleveland Browns – so his team could let him down one last time.