Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. Excerpts from Deuteronomy 15:7-11
Does God care who wins the Super Bowl? Probably not so much in the Old North State – Panthers are at home in the kitty box. But to the Patriots of New England and the Seahawks of Seattle it may be a different story. This is really not an original question with me but one that comes from an old Sports Illustrated article of years ago. I imagine the after game interview in the winner’s locker room where some sports caster says: “Great game Biff.” And the player responds; “Thanks Bud, but first I would like to say that I owe it all to my Savior Jesus Christ. We kicked some BUTT out there today.”
Forgive me folks but I have a VERY difficult time even considering that God gives a hoot about who wins a ball game of any sort… especially ones involving a lot of spoiled multi-millionaires. Richard Wood is a Methodist and Quaker minister and the former Dean of the Divinity School at Yale. He says, “It doesn’t seem to me odd that God would know in detail what happens in football games. What seems odd to me is that God would care. The idea that God intervenes in sports is one that most Christian theologians reject as absurd at best and blasphemous at worst.”
The notion that God cares whether the Patriots or the Seahawks win the Super Bowl suggests that God is in detailed control of what human beings do, which is certainly questionable. I cannot imagine saying that it was God who arranged for you to have Corn Flakes or eggs or a sticky bun for breakfast this morning. That kind of micro-management flies in the face of the human freedom we believe God graciously gives. But, moving that up a notch… we have terrible wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, the genocide in Darfur, instability, violence and Isis in the middle east and all across the globe, plus all sorts of other problems… and to suggest, in that light, that God has some direct involvement in a ball game tends to trivialize the whole notion of God’s involvement with the world.
Does God take sides in a game? How about in a war? The only “side” I see God taking in scripture is the side of the poor, the outcast, the downtrodden and the helpless. Scripture is full of references such as those in our scripture: “Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, ‘Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.'” Over and over the Bible makes it clear. The Bible talks about the poor more than it talks about the resurrection. In fact, it talks more about the poor than about prayer. So, should the players be praying for a victory this Sunday? I am with Yogi Berra on this one who is reported to have told a player coming up to bat who had just crossed himself, “Aw, why don’t you leave God alone; let him just sit back and WATCH for once.”
So, does God care who wins the Super Bowl? My answer is “No!” As we come to the Table on Sunday, remember God does care about the players, God cares about you, and you and you and you and you. God cares about me. And that is all any of us will ever need.
Dear Lord, thank you for great athletes and great games that entertain us and make us appreciate dedication. But Lord, thank you even more for calling us to see you in even the lowliest of all, and for giving us the power to uplift them with your love and grace. We pray to be involved in that for which you really care. Amen.
I do want to offer my special thanks to all who have read my sample chapter or who have purchased a copy of “The Grieving Heart.” If you haven’t you can by clicking the book title in the bottom portion of the above header.
I want to give you a heads up that I will be having a printed copy coming out soon. The cover is different but mostly the same content. Above is a copy of the cover so you can be on the lookout for it. Thanks for all your support of this ministry.