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Monday, 9 January 2012

Tim Tebow and the Gospel

I'm sitting here this morning in Montreal listening to sports radio hosts talking about the Steelers Broncos game yesterday. The fascinating part of the discussion is how often God and Jesus are being mentioned, and surprisingly considering the secular culture here in Montreal, mentioned in a positive way. One of the hosts even did some background study on John 3:16 because of a sign noticed by one of the listeners on the winning touchdown in overtime. Most listeners had no idea what the reference was about, but the host did his homework and even tied in the Old Testament perspective about who God is and how this was part of what Jesus said.
Over the past few weeks, many people here, as elsewhere, have been mocking Tim Tebow. But they have made fun of his praying on the field and the sidelines; "Tebowing" has become a new fad practised all over. This morning however, the tone changed and mention was made of Tim's charity work and the young girl in the stands yesterday who was there because of his charity work. Even Tim's comment, “But the real win, at least the one I would take today, is being able to comfort a girl (Knaub) who’s gone through 73 surgeries and who I get to go hang out with. So that’s the biggest win of the day. They are both exciting but that’s what I’m even more proud of,” was quoted to put football into its proper perspective.
Now to be fair, some have talked about how gracious Tim has been about his faith, how he doesn't push, but that it is simply a natural part of who he is. Now this morning, God, Jesus and the gospel are all being talked about in a positive way and probably more people are hearing a positive message about the Christian faith this morning than in all the churches combined in Montreal yesterday.
As I watch Tim and how he plays football, I'm reminded of what Peter wrote in his first letter where he says, "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." (1 Peter 3:15-16), just before this Peter had written, "Live such good lives among the pagans  that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." (1Peter 2:12) I heard these biblical truths played out this morning and think that many of us as followers of Jesus can learn from how Tim lives out his faith, publicly and without fanfare or pushiness, willingly talking about his faith in God and yet respecting others, and doing his best with what God has given him. His generosity, love for God and life is a reminder to us of the joy that comes from following Jesus with everything we are. It's all about Jesus and it comes through in how we live life.