TITLE: Good Sports
DATE: June 26, 2019
TEXT: Ephesians 6:12-15 – ESV - 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
I’ve just been listening to some of the criticism directed against the American Women’s soccer team.
You’ve probably heard how America, ranked #1 played against Thailand who were ranked #34. When the final whistle blew all kinds of records had been set.
Although America’s girls went and comforted the losing Thailand team, they also had celebrated every one of their goals. And that made for a lot of celebrating.
Critics say the Women should have pulled back; that the Coach should have put in 2nd and 3rd stringers’ that they shouldn’t have spent so much time congratulating and encouraging each other. The team’s detractors felt it was unworthy of good sports and demeaning and embarrassing to the Thailand team.
Now I could be wrong….and I really might be…but it seems that nowadays it’s no longer acceptable to win. When my father came back from POW camp after WWII, he was welcomed as a hero and the members of his bomber who went down with the plane were patriots who made the supreme sacrifice for freedom.
But I noticed there was no such celebration or sentiment for Viet Nam.. nor was there the desire to win as there had been before. The same could be said for other wars, battles, conflicts and police actions in which we have been involved.
When I shared this with a friend, he said, “But aren’t Christians supposed to do unto others as they hope would be done to them.?”
He has a point and I can’t argue against it. But I will say, when I fight against someone in a war or play against them on a field or court I want them to bring their best…. And I expect to bring my best.
If I am correct that is what the Lord had in mind when He made the first promise of the Messiah in Genesis 3., you remember when He talked about bruising his heal and crushing your head. In that battle between good and evil; God and Satan there would be no quarter asked or given. That’s why St Paul says: “We fight not against flesh and blood,”
Yes we contend against principalities and powers of darkness. We would be helpless, crushed and defeated if it were not for our champion, the sinless Son of God the Messiah, whose life was lived; Whose life was given so we might be awarded the ultimate victory: forgiveness of sins and salvation freely given.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the victory which has been won for me by the Savior. All that He did has defeated sin death and devil and given me forgiveness and eternal life. May I always realize Whose side I am on and that there should never be an attempt made to compromise with evil. This I ask in the Savior’s Name. Amen
The devotion for today was inspired by various recent news articles. For further reading you may wish to go to this address https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/sports/uswnt-thailand-score.html and the article written by Andrew Keh for the New York Times]
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html