Saturday, January 12, 2008

Jesus pulled for the Underdog, right?

I'm watching Tom Brady pick apart the Jaguars defense right now. As much of a Wolverine fan as I am, I'm pulling for Jacksonville huge. (Which hurts even more when Watson catches another TD just now). Anyway, my first thought about my dislike of the Patriots and their quest of the perfect season at 19-0 is to ask "Do I hate excellence?" Because seriously, that's what I'm looking at. This team is phenomenal. And it's painful for me to watch. And it's pretty much the way I've always been. I've always pulled for the little guy to knock the bully off the top of the hill. So, I'm just another crab, pulling anyone down who gets too high. Or maybe it's something else...

I'm going to side with my second thought. I think there's something else to my dislike of New England and their Super quest. And it has to with the other guy or the other guys. God didn't pick the top dogs when he called a slave nation out of Egypt. Jesus didn't show up on the doorsteps of religious or political leaders when he spoke about God's kingdom designs or offered his healing touch. Gideon was the underdog. David was the underdog. Elijah was the underdog. And hanging on a cross, bloodied and beaten, is Jesus not the ultimate image of the underdog? So, I ask you, how can I not cheer for the underdog? I mean, if history hasn't taught us anything else, it's taught us that at the end of the day, it's going to be an underdog who will win in the end...


Higgins said...

I'm not a big fan of music by The Eagles, but my dad recently had me listen to one of their songs called "Frail Grasp on the Big Picture".

One verse goes:
"And we pray to our Lord
Who we know is American
He reigns from on high
He speaks to us through middlemen
And he shepherds his flock
We sing out and we praise His name
He supports us in war
He presides over football games
And the right will prevail
All our troubles shall be resolved
We have faith in the Lord
Unless there's money or sex involved"

Strangely enough, your post reminded me of these lyrics. Is God pulling for one team either way?

Don said...

Great lyrics. Yeah, I definitely think that's the way we often view God - some kind of magic genie who simply makes everything "ok" and absolves us of our wrongdoing.

I want to be clear though that I wasn't pretending that God cared one way or another who won the football game, just that the underdog mentality, I believe, comes from my understanding of God and the gospel of Jesus. And that's my justification for cheering against New England...

Higgins said...

Good clarification. I figured that's what you meant.

Maybe I need to clarify why I wrote what I wrote. I've had to come to grips with the unfortunate reality that sometimes the underdog loses on this side of eternity.

Eccl. 4:1
"Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:
I saw the tears of the oppressed—
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors—
and they have no comforter."

And yet, in the end, God does restore justice.

Eccl. 12:13-14
"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,including every hidden thing,whether it is good or evil."

Don said...

Absolutely, and I think that was a major part of what I was saying. Our job is to cheer for those underdogs. Sports is a poor example of life lived in the kingdom of God, but I find analogies in the oddest of places.

I think we need to continue to fight on the side of the underdog, the oppressed with the knowledge that while the change might not occur on this side of eternity - it will happen.

Erik said...

So with the hyperlink 'underdog' I thought for sure it was going to lead to the Packers home-page. I'll give you one guess what's on my mind...

Don said...

the Packer, underdogs @ Lambeau? Even I'm not that stupid.

At this point, I'm looking to the Superbowl - and cheering for the NFC!