Basketball & Advent

Until last week, I’d never heard of Taylor University. For those of you are unfamiliar with it as well, it’s a 2500 student Christian college in Upland, Indiana. It’s also home to one of the greatest traditions in college basketball today. Every December the school hosts its annual “Silent Night” game. The premise is simple: pack out the arena (capacity 2700) and have everyone remain completely silent until the tenth point is scored. Once that tenth point is scored, have the entire crowd go absolutely insane, celebrating like Taylor had just won a national championship in triple overtime. Trust me, you need the visual. Watch the video below!

I’ve watched that video so many times that now it’s just a game for me to try to spot things I’ve never seen before (my current favorite is the little kid by himself playing with a balloon). The anticipation in the room is so high as they build up to that tenth point that the only thing the fans can do is explode. For the students at Taylor University, this isn’t just another basketball game. From buying costumes beforehand to coordinating their celebrations, this means something special to them. The tenth point comes and goes in every basketball game without any fanfare (unless you were the B team with me in 8th grade—it was a struggle). However, the Taylor fans pinpoint that night every year as a night to celebrate what they’ve been so eagerly waiting for.

The idea of anticipation and celebration got me thinking about the season of Advent that we’re currently in and the way we celebrate it. Advent is all about preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus. Too often as this time of the year comes and goes, we do nothing to prepare our hearts for why we’re celebrating in the first place. Christmas comes and goes with little to no celebration of the coming of the Messiah and we move on to the next day, week, month and year.

How different would our lives look if we really prepared our hearts during the season of Advent? What if, after all the waiting and anticipation, we truly celebrated the coming of the Messiah and didn’t treat it as “just another Christmas”? I love the intentionality here at Harris Creek as we celebrate Advent together. We’d also love for you and your family to participate with us in Advent Conspiracy. Two weeks away from Christmas Day, it’s my prayer that this will be a time of eager anticipation and extravagant celebration for you and your family.

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