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Sports and the Sacredness of Movement

Sports and the Sacredness of Movement

The initial idea of this post came from a short online post by a friend of Flourish San Diego named Jim Mullins of Redemption Church Tempe.


I love sports. I love teams. I love competition. I love the beautiful movement of a team on a court or field.

I love the game of basketball because it images the dynamics of the Trinity. I also know there are people in this world and in the church who see sports as a threat to the life of the church since kids and more importantly families can be consumed with them over whole weekends. When coached and played well, there is so much to appreciate from the game of basketball.

For instance, I don’t normally watch NBA basketball, but if the Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs are on TV, they draw me in because the players move the ball with such ease…each and every player on the team contributes to the play of the whole.


Each individual player on a team matters to the overall play of their team; each part matters to the whole. When the game of basketball is beautiful is when the ball moves with fluidity around the court from one player to another until there is a high percentage shot to take. To get that high percentage shot, teammates sacrifice for one another by creating space for one another.

Movement is essential to the game. If players don’t move in coordination with one another, then the ball stalls and each possession and the game become ugly. And ugly games are not worth watching.


So, what is it about the movement of five players on a court that I would describe as beautiful? I believe their movement mimics the dance of God who is One and also three distinct persons of Father, Son and Spirit. The flow of basketball players can beautifully image the circle dance of the Trinity that early church fathers described with one Greek word: perichoresis.

The best play and movement of a team can image this movement of God. And the beautiful thing is that this imaging doesn’t simply happen with teams on courts or fields but gatherings of people all over the world who as churches seek to image God in our individual and collective lives. This act of imaging makes this play and work sacred.

As you reflect on your work and play may you discover how you, individually and collectively, reflect the image of God. May you know daily how God called you in your work so that your work itself is beautiful.

This article originally appeared here.