I love this time of year. While we celebrate new beginnings in January, this time of year also has that feeling of new beginnings and new energy. The weather is changing, students are back in school, and football is back! Speaking of football, here are some verses connected to some favorite teams in the area.
2 and 26
Last year's national championship game was a roller coaster. If you are an Alabama fan you remember the play that ended the game in overtime. Alabama has the ball, it was second and twenty-six yards to go, and suddenly Alabama overcame the second and twenty-six with a touchdown pass heard all around the nation.
2 and 26 takes us to Acts 2:26 where Peter quotes from the Old Testament and says, " Therefore, my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope." Your heart may have been glad and your tongue may have rejoiced on the night Alabama won the championship, but this verse is more. This verse references Christ's death and resurrection. In the context Peter is using the Old Testament to prove that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, and God's plan for redemption. Christ knew the plan and will of God. Therefore, his heart was glad, his tongue rejoiced, and though he died, he rested in hope knowing God's power in the resurrection to come. No matter your circumstance, we may be glad, rejoice, and rest in hope knowing that Jesus Christ is victorious. Remember your eternal victory in Christ this season.
Thanksgiving weekend is an incredible time to be with family and friends and to celebrate the Lord's blessings. However, I have noticed a great tension in the state of Alabama that is called the Iron Bowl. In 2013, the greatest rivalry in college football lived up to the hype. This game is commonly referred to as the "Kick 6". The time seemed to have expired after four quarters of play between Auburn and Alabama, and the score was tied at 28. Overtime seemed to be inevitable. Alabama challenged the time-clock and one second was put back up on the scoreboard; a decision Alabama fans would regret. Alabama would attempt a 57-yard field-goal. Attempted would be the right word. Auburn planned ahead by having Chris Davis back in the end-zone just in case the kick fell short and could be fielded. Mr. Davis delivered a miracle to Auburn and disaster to Alabama. He ran the short kick back 109 yards to win the game 34-28 in the final second. One of the most famous scenes ever in college football and the fan reaction showed up on the seismograph.
34-28 leads us to Exodus 34:28, " Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant - the Ten Commandments." Auburn knew the rule-book and therefore knew the opportunity ahead of them if the kick fell short. Moses knew the Law after dwelling in the Lord's presence for forty days and Moses knew the opportunity before him. The Lord instructed Moses to write the Law on tablets so all His people would know His Law. The Lord pursued relationship with His people, but He reminded them of His holiness in the relationship, and the Law reminds us of our unholiness. Without Christ we would be condemned by the Law, but Christ came, fulfilled the Law, took on the cross on a day of seismic events, tore the curtain of the Temple, and the relationship has been restored. May we rest in the presence of God through the blood of Christ and Holy Spirit!
North Alabama Fans:
I'm thankful for North Alabama in our community. As a proud graduate of UNA, I celebrate with the Lions. UNA has had incredible success, most notably their Division II National Championships in 1993, 1994, and 1995. In Fact, UNA's record in the playoffs is 35-18. The Lions move up to Division I this year, but their 35-18 playoff record gives us time to look back and celebrate what has happened while looking forward to what will happen.
35-18 leads us to Psalm 35:18 which says, " I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you." It's a blast to go to the UNA games, to be a part of the crowd, to scream for the team and hear the incredible sound of the Pride of Dixie. However, none of this can compare to worshiping the Lord. What a blessing it is to gather together as the people of God and praise the God of the universe! We praise Him for creation, redemption, and for life, eternal life.
Are there still any Tennessee fans? Just kidding! Tennessee fans need to look at 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul describes the resurrection of Christ. God can do anything, He can perform miracles, He can raise the dead and bring them to life. I'm not saying He will do this for Tennessee, but He has done this in our salvation through Christ. Enjoy the season Tennessee fans, put your hope not in Rocky Top, but in Christ!
Enjoy the year,