I have lived in a lot of very sports oriented communities before, but never more-so than Paso Robles, and the Central Coast of California. I grew up in Boise Idaho, where the Boise State Broncos were, and still are an official member of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy State). I was a chaplain and Campus Minister at the University of Michigan where Maize and Blue literally ran in the veins of students and alumni alike. I am from a Scottish family that loves the Glasgow Rangers in Soccer (Football). But nowhere is more athletically highly charged than Paso Robles.
And athletic symbology is very important here. Sports hats are of utmost significance!
For the first three months while living here, I made the very big mistake of wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap. Not only are the Yankees reviled here, like they were some Afghani militia intent upon blowing up our national buildings, but they are generally not liked. I wore the cap not knowing or appreciating the major statement that I was making.
The hat you wear for the team you support is not just a fashion accessory where I live, but it is a mark of territory, a totem of anthropologic alignment, an icon of ritualistic pride.
So, it was a big deal the other day when I broke down, after 6 years of living in Paso Robles, and bought a baseball cap with the insignia of the local High School team - the Paso Robles Bearcats. Don't ask me why it took me 6 years to buy the baseball cap of the home team where I live. Maybe I have commitment issues. But, I dawned the cap for the first time at the homecoming game of Paso High. It definitely felt like a major "coming out" (I use that phrase in the sense of a Southern debutante, and not in the other usage of that colloquialism). When Star, my wife, saw me wearing the Paso Robles Bearcat hat she said, "Wow, you are going Native." What she meant by that is that I was finally espousing the primary belief system of the people that I had come to serve and minster to. I was wearing their cap. Actually, the word "their" no longer applied. I was one of them. I was all in...
What am I driving at?
Jesus Wore Our Cap. After centuries of quibbling about the need for full intervention or comfortable separation, Jesus finally broke down and bought our main humanistic insignia - our personhood, our cap. Ultimately, he chose, to visit the cosmic concession stand. Jesus bought and wore our cap. The cap of our team!
The great miracle of the universe is not that God is great and sovereign and supreme. God is! It's not that God is able to relate with us on an every day basis. God can! But, even the Greek God's (Zeus, Athena, Dionysus and Aphrodite) were able to relate with humans - even though they were separate.
The great miracle of Yahweh is that He not only chose to become human and live among us, like some Mesopotamian deity striding upon the face of the earth. It's that Jesus went native. He lived with us. He was and is one of us. He marked himself in the same insignia that was, and is, important to us (master fisherman, carpenter, rabbinical wizard, theological superhero, miracle worker extraordinaire, friend, teacher, counselor, healer, preacher). After Jesus wore our hat, there was no going back to a comfortable separated distance of a royal, Pentateuchian godhead - three in one.
Jesus was all in...He Wore our Cap...He was one of us...
All For Now,