Bend-A-Knee Weekly Sermon 01/05/2023

Baseball has long been considered “America’s Pastime” given the moniker as early as 1850. But today, in the 21st Century, football is by far the most popular sport in America and the NFL rules TV ratings. Sports are divided into two categories, “non-contact” & “contact.” Football has been called a “collision” sport. The sport is violent and beautiful at the same time. The athletes train year-round to strengthen themselves physically which results in even more violent collisions.

On Monday night a seemingly non-violent collision caused the Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin, to collapse on the field and receive CPR and he was given oxygen before being transported to the nearest hospital. The reaction of the players and coaches was a testament to the severity of the injury he received. His fellow teammates circled around the head coach and prayed for his safety as the ambulance left the stadium. The sports world was shaken by the tragic result of the tackle and answered with an overwhelming response that prayers were being offered on Hamlin’s behalf. The commentators, visibly shaken, commented several times about how the much-anticipated game seemed to no longer be a priority; that everything changed in a blink of an eye.

I too am praying for Hamlin’s full recovery. Prayer is a vital part of my relationship with God. I was struck by the fact, that to my knowledge, no one has commented about such a public display of prayer, or has challenged the right of the commentators or journalist to elicit prayers on behalf of Hamlin. In spite of the projected perception today, that prayer is nothing more than foolishness, it is overwhelming apparent to me that when a life hangs in the balance prayer becomes the automatic default. Prayer may be criticized by many as a useless endeavor but it becomes spontaneous when a life-threatening event occurs. It seems that there is a general belief in a God who has the capability to intervene on behalf of mankind when a request is made.

Today as you consider pausing at noon to Bend-A-Knee in prayer may you rejoice that God has invited you to commune with Him through prayer at any time and in every situation in life. This blessed privilege is God’s idea to enhance a relationship with Him. May prayer become a continuous act of faith, not just a default response to a tragedy. May it be a means of praise & worship knowing that everything that is important to you is also important to God – what a blessed thought!

Stay connected to God & to others

God’s Peace,

Pastor Mike

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