Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We’ve been here before, but who wins this time?

   We’ve been here before. It is amazing how things repeat themselves. Sometimes we feel like we can predict the future simply because we’ve already seen it so clearly in our past. The repetitive nature of things can be found all over.

   Take this weekend’s Super Bowl XLVI, for instance. We’ve already seen this game before. In fact, Super Bowl marks the 13th Super Bowl that is a rematch of a regular season game. In case you are wondering, the loser in the regular season is 7–5 in these games, including 5–1 the last six times this has happened. This bodes well for the Patriots, since the Giants won earlier this year on November 6. But, not only have we seen these two teams compete already this season, many fans remember they faced each other in a Super Bowl a couple of years back. This is the sixth Super Bowl in which that has happened. Both head coaches (Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick) and both starting quarterbacks (Eli Manning and Tom Brady) were in the same roles back 1998. The entire storyline, and certainly the commentary before and during the game, will be about the frequent times these opponents have faced each other.
   Which brings us to the Gospel.
   Isn’t it very similar in our own lives, too? We continue to face some of the same opponents. Our storyline is fond of repeating itself, isn’t it? And, it is not just us? How many of us have loved ones and friends that confide in us, and share their lives with us? How often do the frustrations and challenges they share with us repeat themselves? It is the same people, or the same situation, or the same stumbling block that continues to prevent them, and us, from moving forward.
   What are your adversaries? Gossip? Self-control? Greed? Stubbornness? An unhealthy appetite? Laziness? Arrogance? Isn’t it true that the same opponents line up against us, time and time again? In the contest of eternal proportions that is being played out in our souls, we’ve been here before, but who wins this time?
   We are the victors, in Christ. That is the Good News. That is the promise. 1 John 5 says it this way, “For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.”
   May you face the opponents of our souls, that seek to crush the abundant live that Christ offers to each of us, and place your faith in the One who has already conquered death. He is Jesus. Love wins. Grace and Peace to you, Scott.

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