Monday, January 22, 2007

Superbowl Theology


I'm not a huge football fan. I'll watch the superbowl, only because it's a party at our church and I love the commercials. I've caught the last 5 minutes of a game here or there, whenever my son of 15 was watching. I used to watch the game -- when Fran Tarkenton and Franco Harris and Terry Bradshaw were playing. So that dates me.
I was watching the playoffs yesterday (because Ian was) and at the trophy presentation for the Colts the owner and coach both gave glory to God and honor to him. They were ecstatic, as was the entire stadium. The visiting team, the Patriots, was interviewed in silence and misery. The Colts thanked God for being with them. What about the Patriots? Was God not with them? Could they not give glory to God for their loss?
I tear up a bit whenever I hear a famous person thank God (with humility and sincerity) for their accomplishments. I did last night. But it also got me thinking about God in our losses, our defeats.
I know God wasn't rooting for the Colts and booing the Patriots. I know God is aware of every hair on our head, but does He really care about who plays in the Superbowl?
Here in southern Illinois we've had extensive news coverage over the 2 missing boys who have been found - one missing for 4 1/2 years, the other just a few days. They were kidnapped. I see alot of correlation between the Colts coach's exultation and the family who thanked God for finding their son, who was only missing for a few days. What about the boy (Shawn Hornbeck) who was missing for over 4 years? What about the Patriots?
I can't help thinking of the survivor of an accident versus the victim when someone thanks God. I'm struggling with the rightness of thanking God in the midst of defeat and sorrow vs. thanking God in victory and survival Paul admonishes us to be thankful in all circumstances. So if I were rooting for the Patriots I should say, "Thank God they didn't win, it isn't God's will." Or if I was more intimately acquainted with Shawn Hornbeck I should say, "Thank God he stayed alive and is found after 4 years of captivity." But even if he wasn't found alive, what should I say, what if his body was discovered, according to Paul I should thank God? But that, honestly, is not my first thought. I want to question God, is fairness, justice, love and compassion.
BUT...he is creator of the universe, omnipotent, omnipresent, and I have a perspective that is limited by time and my own experience. But I still question and I believe that's what God wants--us always in conversation with Him, searching for his truth and understanding.

1 comment:

Nairobi Paul said...

This relates to the question of why is there suffering. Somehow God is glorified through our pain - and the pain of others. He creates stronger tree trunks through the wind and rain.

I personally struggle with my capacity for coping with pain. That's one big reason why we're not staying in Africa. God does hit us with stuff we can't bear (you remember that verse) - but sometimes it stretches me in how much I am really willing to depend on Him.

Enjoy those commercials.