As the NFL Turns (Writhes)

I must admit that football is really the only sport that I follow. I must also admit that I rather look forward to NFL opening day and watching very large children violently throw themselves around a field and smash into each other for millions of dollars. But now instead of Sunday headline games, I am treated to daily headlines detailing the bad behavior of NFL players – and everyone dancing around trying to act outraged.

It is difficult to navigate the issues laid out before us, but a few things strike me:

1) As much as I might like watching football, the whole enterprise of professional sports is not a particularly positive or Godly aspect of society – even IF the good folks in the NFL would like to convince us otherwise. Neither does it contribute to our lives as Christians. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a game! But it seems obvious to me that a pickup game at the neighborhood park would do us a lot better than couch sitting with a beer in hand.

2) As much as I enjoy watching football as my body wastes away, what is worse is what it does to its players. Or at least that is what am gathering. We hype them up, glamorize them, put them on pedestals, give them gobs of money to throw around, and then eventually abandon a third of them to early dementia. Some of them do well enough, though I can’t image what kind of person I would end up being after an NFL career. It wouldn’t be pretty.

3) So if we train up our players to be tough guy, kick ass, gladiator types on the field whose only purpose is to take out the opposing team, why are we surprised when they are gladiator types in real life? Why does it shock us when a player disciplines his son with a stick or knocks his girl out with an easy throw of his fist?

4) It truly is terrible anyone is injured in any way at the hand of someone else. But do we really have to be force fed every indiscretion of these sorry fellows? Does the NFL actually care about what its players do? Is there true repentance anywhere? Or is this all just a publicity stunt? These atrocities happen every day thousands of times – in our own families and communities… Why is it particularly outrageous that THESE particular individuals do it? There is something really messed up here. If a professional sports player commits some crime or indiscretion in his life, he should get his just reward – whatever it might be. But let it be noted on page two of the sports section and lets get on with…. football?

Get on with football? Well… MAYBE… But I am feeling that it just isn’t going to be the same anymore… All our dreams about what sports were… they just really were dreams. Nothing more.

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In the Face of Evil, Let us Rally to Christ!

There are times when we get pretty sick. And tired. And frustrated.

We see the world falling apart. We see evil men behead the innocent on camera and post it to the internet. We have the drum beat of war in Europe for reasons beyond stupidity. Despot rulers seem to get their way as defenseless men, women and children are bombed out of their homes and communities. Egos and hubris and everything BUT Christian love and peace are being demonstrated over and over again as headlines battle for the top spot. And that is all of what happens in the ‘rest’ of the world… The headlines from this side of the oceans can seem just as bad as the tide of anti-Christs deluge our families, communities, and nation.

        And yet – we are so lazy in our faith. We are anything but zealous for the Lord. We cannot see Christ through our tears. We scowl and grumble at the Lord and each other. We are seemingly paralyzed by our fears and preserving instincts. It sure would be nice if we could do what Bob Newhart told his fearful patient in his famous TV show sketch: Just “STOP IT!” Or, as our latest Disney queen would say “Let it go!”

        But no. It sure is hard! It seems that we really are poor miserable sinners – and we like to do what we do best: sin. Just like the rest of the world.

        However, it just so happens that we have a Savior. His name is Jesus. Have you heard of Him? Lately at all? Reputable sources have said that He loves to forgive sinners; that He loves to heal the sick and comfort the mourning. Rumor has it that he lifts up the weary and makes them strong… makes them soar as eagles on a strong wind. The testimony has come down through the millennia, and even our fathers and forefathers have whispered it in our ears years long after they have lain down in their graves – that there is someone who is truly worthy of our attention, truly worthy of our worship, truly worthy of our devotion. And it behooves us to stop and consider our first love, the one who created and redeemed us, who forever pours his glorious goodness upon us – even in the face of our rebellion and hatred of His lovely and pre-ordained ways.

        In these evil days, let us throw off our dull sloth. Let us cling to our creator and redeemer, the lover of our souls… the one who goes before and suffers the cross and all our damnation.

        

In the face of every evil… Rally to the Love! Rally to the Cross! Rally to Christ!

                – Pastor Bjornstad