Now for a cheer they are here, triumphant!
Here they come with banners flying,
In stalwart step they’re nighing,
With shouts of vict’ry crying,
We hurrah, hurrah, we greet you now, Hail!

Far we their praises sing
For the glory and fame they’ve brought us
Loud let the bells them ring
For here they come with banners flying
Far we their praises tell
For the glory and fame they’ve brought us
Loud let the bells them ring
For here they come with banners flying
Here they come, Hurrah!

Hail! to the victors valiant
Hail! to the conqu’ring heroes

I am sure that some of you recognize that song. I know that many others are wondering what that is about. For those with ties in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and maybe even Washington, and Alabama those words strike fear and anger maybe even a twinge of envy. For those from Ann Arbor you know those words by heart, as well as where you city is in relationship to your hand. Yes, I am quoting the Michigan fight song and poking a bit at all my Michigan friends about their state. Yet a call to Victory means so much more than a national championship in football or any other sport. In 1st Corinthains 15:57 Paul tells us that we have been given victory. We won, we don’t have to fight and struggle any more, we have the victory! Victory. It brings up images of celebrations, fans storming the fields, ticker tape parades, soldiers coming home and kissing nurses, iconic images after a long hard-fought battle. This isn’t simply winning, but victory! Looking back a few verses, as is always critical when reading the Bible, knowing what comes before and after gives us clues on how to apply the Truth to our lives.

Beginning in verse 50 Paul begins to lay out the battlefield. Death, decay, flesh, all the items that separate us from God. All those things that we struggle against. Our own ways, our selfish desires, our life prior to Christ. All those things have been swallowed up, removed from our presence, forgotten about due to the victory. I am told that not only the pain of childbirth but also its memory ends once the baby is placed in the mother’s arms. Many women who were threatening the murder of their husbands and swore never again to have another baby are considering having another once they have that prize in their arms and see the beautiful life that God has entrusted them with. I can’t empathize with the pain of childbirth and hesitate to bring this up as the pain is nothing like that, but I will anyway. When playing football in school I can remember that the pain of practice was much worse than the pain after any game, especially as we won. The victory made me forget the pain and relish the glory of an undefeated season. Similarly, our victory over sin and death has been granted. We have new life in Christ, death has no sting, no real pain, nothing that compares to the victory He has invited us to. We don’t have to fear death, loss, or even sin, but we get to press full into living as victors, those that have won!