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Lent Day 24

March 17, 2015

We Americans spend a lot of time watching sports. Up until a few years ago, I wasn’t really part of that group. Then I realized I was missing out on something that others around me enjoyed and talked about together. Since then, college football has become part of my Saturday routine during football season.

In particular one college football player brought me to football. He is also known for his strong faith and generous life. (Yes, I mean Tim Tebow.)
But even if it’s Tim – and his infamous “Tebowing” – I am not a fan of athletes’ acts of prayer or pointing to the sky during games. Because I don’t think God really cares one bit about the game. Public displays of faith are great but for me, the place should be appropriate.

Over the past weekend, my husband read a quote in the paper from an athlete who saw an ad on his phone for discounted flights to a city with a pro football team. He then decided to sign with that team. He said, “…Wow. You know what I mean? And it just hit. I never question God’s plan for me.”

I believe God’s message comes to us in many media: the Bible, Bible study, music, worship and the pastor’s message/sermon, conversation with other Christians, and films or books. It’s nearly impossible for me to believe that God is talking to any of us through advertisements.

It reminds me of the Bible story about Jesus cleansing the temple. In addition to the three Gospels’ verses about it below, my favorite ‘telling’ of that passage is in the move, “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

I’ll keep watching my college football and praying for players who get injured. I haven’t and won’t ask God to help my favorite teams or players win. I think I’ve got many more important things to ask our loving God about. Thankfully He listens and loves all believers – just because we believe.

Matthew 21:12 (NRSV) Jesus Cleanses the Temple
12 Then Jesus entered the temple[a] and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

Mark 11:15 (NRSV) Jesus Cleanses the Temple
15 Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves;

John 2:13-15 (NRSV) Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.
15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

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