“Super Bowl Reflections”

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            Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone.  For fans of particular players or teams the game can bring highs and lows of emotion.  Every Super Bowl has its share of hype and hoopla.  Every year there are new players who burst on the public stage and the media applauds their accomplishments.  We often cheer the person who has succeeded despite long odds and tremendous challenges.  Nearly always such applause reigns as we observe an athlete’s tenacity and dedication.

            As I observe this, a question comes to my mind—“Why does Society congratulate individuals who have passion in Sports, but criticize individuals who have a passion for God?”  People will write letters of support and adulation to an athlete who wins the big game.  But people will also cry—“foul”, when an athlete gives glory to God.  Let a Christian athlete speak up about what the Bible says in regard to morality or ethics and our media will clamor for that athlete’s banishment from life.

            What is at stake in these issues and questions?  It seems that our World applauds passion, but only as long as that passion does not convict it, indict it or attempt to make one feel guilty.  The fact that our World does not like to hear God’s truth regarding right or wrong should not surprise us.  The Bible tells us that Satan attempted to deceive Adam and Eve in the beginning.  When God told the first family that certain things were right or wrong, Satan slithered in and said—“God is wrong, here’s the real truth!”  Jesus reminded his followers that if they follow him, trouble can and will follow.  Jesus was very clear that the opposition he faced was because he was shining the light of God’s truth on deeds of darkness.

            Having said all of this, one might ask:  “Where is this discussion going?”  It is my hope that as servants of God we will remember that we are God’s ambassadors in a lost world.  As representatives and ambassadors we are commissioned to carry a message to those we meet.  As followers of Jesus we are told to speak the truth in love.  That can be a difficult challenge.  Balancing the task of telling people about the great God we serve along with loving people who have issues and problems is hard.  No one likes to be told they are wrong or that something they might like to do has dire consequences.  Christians have long battled with the dilemma regarding—“How do we love the Sinner yet hate the Sin?”

            My challenge today is that as followers of Jesus we are called to be “Salt” and “Light” in the World around us.  We have a high calling and a mission that has eternal ramifications.  We must care about the people around us.  Just as God’s heart beats for a World that is in deep trouble and despair, so must ours.  But we must realize that the answer and cure for a World that is lost in the dark-deeds of sin is the Gospel of Jesus.  Let us remember the words of Jesus—“I am the way, the truth and the light.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Let us point people to Jesus.  Keep looking up.