Read Romans 8:31-39
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“Anyone who listens to My teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Matthew 7:24)
Sunday, February 3, 2013 was an all-American holiday…a sacred day of sitting on the couches and chairs, a day of huddling in the living room. It was a day of chips and dip, plenty of beverages and the sounds of guys and gals the country over shouting at the top of their lungs. This holiday has forever become known a Super Bowl Sunday and has a larger attendance than all of the churches in America combined.
In this past Super Bowl the Baltimore Ravens went up against the San Francisco 49ers in a game that was bound to be a crowd pleaser. In the first half of the game it seemed like nothing could stop the Ravens. The 49ers were down 28 – 3 and seemed to have no chance to comeback. Yet, they did and almost destroyed the Raven’s dreams of winning the Super Bowl. But as the phrase goes, “almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” In the end, the Ravens narrowly won the game, with the final score being 34-31.
But how were the Raven’s able to stop the raging moment that the 49ers picked up in the second half of the game? How were the Raven’s able to conquer their foe and lay claim of the iconic Vince Lombardi trophy? According to Ray Lewis, God was how they were able to win. When asked how they were able to pull off the win, Ray Lewis proclaimed, “If God is for us, who can stand against us?” It seems that God was certainly a Raven’s fan that day.
Now, on the surface nothing seems wrong with Ray’s proclamation. In the midst of the great moment, in the midst of all of the emotions welling up inside of him and his fellow teammates, there seems to be nothing wrong with give God the credit for a job well done; however, when one thinks deeper about the implications of such a comment, perhaps the credit give to God is credit God would rather not take.
For instance, is it safe to say that God had it out against the 49ers? What did God choose the Ravens over and against the 49ers? What makes the Ravens more deserving of a Super Bowl victory? What did the 49ers do to deserve to lose the game after rallying their team to such an amazing comeback? And what does it say about God’s will regarding the rest of the teams in the NFL?
The danger in this type of theology comes into play when we start applying to other people, places and things of more import than American Football. For instance, when we win a war, should we credit God with that win? Does God wish us to fight each other and pick sides as to who should conquer and who should be conquered and/or wiped out? Or how about countries with plenty versus third world countries? Why would God choose to give prosperity to some (especially when those prosperous nations are far from perfect), while allowing other people to live in oppressed and deprived states?
The reality is that God is not a puppet master in the sky who tweaks the performances of one team over that of another, nor is God on the side of one people over that of the other. Rather, God is present with us all. God is on all of our sides, nudging each of us to move closer and closer into a divine relationship with our Creator. If we were to listen to God, if we were to stop for a moment and actually listen, we would hear God telling us that we are all the children of the most High and that we are all loved. If we would only listen, we would realize that God is calling us to be that love in the world. And what’s stopping us from doing that? After all, if God is for us who can stand against us?
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
God doesn’t play favorites. There is radical equality in God’s love.
Lord, teach me to love in a way that truly gives credit to you. Use me as your instrument of love. Amen.