Joe Gibbs, the former Washington Redskins head coach who won three Super Bowls, is a shining example of faith and football, and the connection and correlation between God and sports. Football will draw you closer to God, as long as you don’t stay home and watch games on Sunday instead of going to church. Ha, Ha. Before you stop reading, please let me explain. What does God have to do with sports in general, and football in specific, you say? Well, I’m so glad you asked. (And we’re talkin’ American football, not soccer, for all of you in the rest of world who call our soccer, football). God loves football. Why? Because God is all about upsets, comebacks and turnarounds. And in the National Football League, in the good ‘ole NFL, we see upsets, comebacks and turnarounds on a weekly basis. Watching and believing for wins, mostly upset wins, courageous comeback wins and terrific turnaround wins is as spiritual as it gets and requires faith, hope and love. Football requires faith. The Seattle fans had lost faith. When Seattle lost to Dallas a few weeks ago, we gave Russell Wilson and the Seahawks up for dead. Today, those same Seahawks gouged the Giants 38-17, and all of a sudden, the defending champions are back in action. Sounds like a turnaround to me. Football requires hope. And Dallas Cowboys fans can only hope. The Dallas Cowboys, after that impressive win in Seattle, lost to their arch-rival, the Washington Redskins, IN DALLAS on Monday Night Football! Yikes! And then the very next week they lost again to the surprising but not so impressive Arizona Cardinals. (I’m sorry, but am I the only one who doesn’t believe that the Cardinals are for real?) Anyway, this was the first time the Cowboys dropped two in a row in a while. Now, the Boys are Back, as they just jettisoned the Jaguars 31-17 in England. That’s right, England – not New England, but Brittan England, as in “on the other side of the pond” England. American Football in England? Oh well. Football requires love. The Philadelphia Eagles have not won a Super Bowl in my lifetime. We’ve come close, but as we all know, close only counts in horse shoes. Nonetheless, we Eagle fans love our beloved Eagles, no matter what. Just like any other die-hard fan, you’ve gotta love your team through the thick and through the “thins;” through the ups and the downs, and if that’s not spiritual, I don’t know what is. God loves us regardless of how many times we lose or lie down, fail or falter, flop or fold. No matter what, God loves us and won’t give up on us. No matter how many times we fumble or stumble, bumble or tumble, God loves us and will stick with us, no matter what. I am a preacher preaching a gospel of upsets, comebacks and turnarounds. So if you or anybody you know needs a pick me upper, a shot in the arm, a jolt of encouragement or energy, a boost or a lift, reassurance or reinforcement to get a dead battery jump started and up and running again, just watch football. Keep track of your team as they play week in and week out. This requires faith, (especially if you’re an Eagles fan, right?) as you are hoping and praying that they (we) win a Super Bowl in our lifetime. So just remember, football helps and even requires you to be spiritual. It requires faith, hope and love.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. Hebrews 13:13, NLT