Last week at Mount Hebron Presbyterian we were thinking about the "Call of God" and had a message titled “Listen to Him!” But this coming Sunday sees the Superbowl.
One thing is for sure. Players are going to get knocked down. And, unless injured, they are expected to get up again and carry on with the game... no matter how hard they are tackled.
Life can be tough. We are going to be knocked down by circumstances that come our way. All sorts of problems are out there that we have to tackle. And when we fall, we are expected to get up again and carry on with the game of life. Either that or we need time to recuperate from the onslaught! But once we can get up again, it's back to business as usual.
A favorite scripture of many people, particularly during those times when life is laying them low, is found in Isaiah 40:31 “Those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” I realize that one of the teams participating this year are known as the “Eagles” but please do not consider this biblical text as favoring either team! That would indeed be taking things out of context.
The context of the words Isaiah offers was that the people Israel were in captivity and longing to return to their homelands. They realize that their situation had come about because of their own unwillingness to heed God's call to act like people who belonged to the Lord Almighty. They were afraid, defeated and desperate for some hope. They were knocked down and had no idea of how to get their lives back together again.
Along comes Isiah with this message of hope. By the grace of God they were forgiven. The doorway was being opened for a new beginning. A time was coming when they would be restored. In order to enter into their blessing they are counseled to wait upon the Lord.
Such a message resonates with the Good News we are called to proclaim through our Christian faith. We claim that we are set free by the life and love of Jesus Christ. We believe that through God's Holy Spirit we can find power for the living of these days... even when they knock the stuffing out of us! One of the ways we live into that calling is by helping others get back on their feet.
One of the things here at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church we have been participating in, is a “Souperbowl” collection on Game Day. We will have folk stationed with collecting pots as people leave the sanctuary. They are invited to make a donation into the pot of the team they favor. This money will then be distributed to a charity (chosen by the youth) seeking to feed hungry folk in our community. It's all part of a national initiative that last year raised millions of dollars to help folk who had been knocked down, get back on their feet again.
Whoever you are supporting in the Big Game, and however you spend the day, be sure to spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves. And when you see one of those players get knocked to the floor, recall how the love of God is able to reach out to us when we fall.
There is song by a band called Chumbawamba all about getting knocked down. As the lyrics of the verse don't really go along with the sentiments of the meditation, I'll let you choose to look for that one yourself! Instead, here's “Psalm 91 (On Eagles Wings)” by Shane and Shane.
The Reverend Adrian J. Pratt B.D.