If You Get Kicked…

All of the Christian story gathers in the space between the cross of Christ and his empty tomb. The story we are told in this space is about resilience, grounded in the very action of God…

Renowned women’s basketball coach Kay Yow had a favorite catchphrase: “If you get kicked, let it kick you forward.” As the head coach of the North Carolina State’s Wolfpack Women’s Basketball team from 1975-2009, Yow logged more than 700 career wins. What many don’t know is that she was a devout Christian, and she said this, most notably, in the midst of her hard personal battle with cancer. Her Christian witness, born in the space between cross and tomb, led her to believe what another humble Christian noted: “The worst thing that could ever happen to you won’t be the last thing that ever happens to you because of the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.”

Built into the Christian witness we are called to carry is a story of resilience, grounded in the work of God, revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus. This story forever points us beyond the doorway of the empty tomb and toward a future where we are all well and whole.

This vision is what gives us the power to endure, and the doorway of the empty tomb that frames the vision is what calls us from our suffering and our deaths into ALL hopefulness.

  • We have forgotten, in the decline of the church, that the future is as secure in God’s hands as ever.
  • We have forgotten, in the midst of shifting demographics, that the church’s witness and its effectiveness was never to be measured by human metrics.
  • We have forgotten that as the time and tides of this world ebb and flow, God’s love, will, and action are a plumbline for building, and a sextant for navigating.

Yes, oh yes, we have all been kicked. But for the sake of Jesus Christ, and all that he has already accomplished, let these times kick us forward.

Rev. Dr. Nathan Swenson-Reinhold is a former lead pastor of a multi-site congregation. He’s been a ministry leadership coach for nearly two decades, and is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC). He’s owner of Summit Coaching and Behavioral Consulting LLC. He enjoys pen-turning, car-detailing, reading science fiction, and playing acoustic guitar.

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