FALLEN FROM GRACE
Gal. 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
It seems like the mood of our city rises and falls with the New Orleans Saints. I’ll never forget the night the dome was reopened after Katrina. It was a Monday Night football game and my son Nathan and I scored some tickets. Actually we had great seats right down near the field. It was a night of joy and celebration, obviously that night was about more than football, it was the celebration of the rebirth of our beloved city. The fact that the Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons was just lagniappe, that little something extra that adds spice to life. Just a few years after that night of joy, the unbelievable happened. Pigs were flying, hell was freezing over, the saints did the unthinkable, they had actually won the Superbowl. It seemed like New Orleans was on the top of the world, the Saints were being called America’s team, the “whodat nation” had become a national phenomenon, Saints gear was being worn all over the land.
This week, all of that joy seems to be a foggy memory or a distant dream. Who could have imagined the headlines in the Times Picayune, “FALL FROM GRACE”. Even the secular media were drawing spiritual applications.
That’s what today’s word is about, everything in life is ultimately spiritual. All of us are dealing with conflicted feelings about the Saints. We are upset and disappointed about the bounties and the secrets. We are feeling feelings of justification as we remind ourselves, “all the teams are doing it”, even though we know it is wrong. We are angry about what we see as an over the top punishment to make examples out of our local heroes. Then we deal with feelings of resentment knowing that other guilty parties will prosper from our punishments. At the end of the day it is hard to make sense out of the mess.
What can we take with us from this whole situation? First, all of our human heroes are flawed. I think of David with Bathsheba, Peter’s denial of Christ with the servant girl, and Noah’s drunken binge. All of our heroes have clay feet. Does that justify their behavior? Absolutely not. It only displays the poor behavior of the best of our fallen race. There is only one human hero who has not fallen, His name is Jesus and He was despised and rejected by man.
Secondly, we must realize what is really important in life. I love sports as much as the next guy but at the end of the day, it is just a game. Our joy does not come from a touchdown, a hole in one, or a three point shot. It’s not the fastest or the strongest that will make it into the kingdom, it is only those who have been saved by grace through faith. Who knows what this year holds for the “black and gold”, will it be the Super Bowl or the cellar, it really makes no difference. The question that really matters is this, how is it with your soul?