This is the best sports time of the year – bar none. This is the time of the year for buzzer beaters and bracket busters. This is the time of year when Cinderella reveals she has the other glass slipper, when Dorothy realizes that she in fact is wearing those ruby slippers, and when all of God’s children put on their new shoes.
This is the time of year when the teams voted least likely to succeed submarine the teams that are the select, sacred few whom the pundits and prognosticators have crowned and coronated even before a single game is played.
This is the time of year when the underdog overtakes the top dog. And how do they do it? They come together and huddle.
The Huddle is the symbol of team unity and team togetherness. In the American Sport of Football, “huddle” means to get together in a circle. Huddle means to gather or crowd together in a close mass. Huddle means to come together, to meet to discuss, to exchange ideas, or make a decision. Ironically, teams “huddle” not only in football but in basketball, and especially college basketball.
The team that busts the brackets and beats the buzzer will be the team that huddles together. Watch and see. It has become a practice in college basketball that, before a free throw attempt, the leader of the team calls his teammates together and they huddle at the foul line. They come together to discuss strategy, to exchange ideas and to made decisions. Huddles have become more than a nicety in college basketball, they have become a necessity.
And so as we watch as top ranked teams fall apart during the games of March Madness, it is the sanity of togetherness that we love to watch even more. And it is usually the teams that come together, that are in sync and in concert and play as one, together, and execute set plays together, and overcome adversity together, that will win, and win big. And isn’t this true in our spiritual lives as well?
Churches in general and THE CHURCH in specific must learn this lesson. We, the people of God, will defeat every foe and vanquish every villain when we come together. If we would just come together, we will defy the desire of the devil to divide and destroy us. By coming together, we will realize the request of our Lord:
“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
John 17:20-21, RSV
This March, I’ll be watching and yelling and screaming for the buzzer beaters and the bracket busters. These are the teams that will have come together, and that’s why you’ll be rooting loudly for them too.