The World Cup wasn’t part of my life growing up. I loved sports, even though I wasn’t particularly athletic. I watched football, basketball, hockey, golf, bowling. But not soccer. In the southern United States in the 1960s and 1970s, soccer was not a part of our lives.

Then I moved to Argentina in 1985. Everyone was talking about Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer player who was considered the best in the world. Everyone was nervously waiting for the World Cup, waiting to see if Argentina could win their second title in 8 years.

And they did. The Argentine team fought their way past the competition and won it all.

I remember watching the championship game. I remember the excitement as the end of the match drew near, and Argentina’s victory became a reality. We had won!

Well, they had won. I wasn’t Argentine. I didn’t play soccer. It wasn’t my victory.

And yet… I felt a part of things. When the game ended, I waded out into the crowd in downtown Rosario and cheered along with everyone else. I chanted. I yelled. I jumped up and down. I celebrated our victory.

My Argentine friends had no problem with that. They were willing to let me in on their joy, to allow me to be a part of their celebration. Time passed, and I went back to being a foreigner. But that evening, I was Argentine.

When Jesus died on the cross, he broke down barriers between people. Where there had once been separations between those who could be part of God’s people and those who couldn’t, Jesus eliminated those separations. He gave everyone the right to be part of God’s family.

The apostle Paul wrote:

“He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:17-19).

He gave everyone the right to be part of God’s family
My status as an Argentine was a fleeting thing. It ended when the World Cup celebration was over. But my right to be a part of God’s people will never end.

If you’d like to know more about how to become a part of God’s family, I invite you to read “Invited Into The Family” at Or write to me at

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