"A House Divided"

The Super Bowl is the game that millions of football fans anticipate all season long! This Sunday is “the big game” when the best of the best square off against each other in the warmth of Glendale, Arizona. I must confess that football is not usually on my radar of interest. Unlike many of my family and friends, I have never cared much for the clash of the heads and pads on the gridiron. Rather, I sit out from the viewing audience and the action Sunday after Sunday, Mondays, and Thursdays too, while the football faithful follow their favorite teams and warriors with great delight.

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I’m pretty sure that I am not alone in waiting until the end of the football season and then tuning in to watch the championship game. There are many of us who show up to enjoy creative and costly commercials; eat pizza, hot wings, and other snacks; take in the half-time show; and try to hang on until the end of the final quarter of action to see the award ceremony. It seems that the likes of us, “party faithful,” are in the minority, but give us some credit, we do feel somewhat in the know. Who wants to be left out of the “Monday morning quarterbacking” around the water cooler?! 😉

I will say that I’m intrigued to see that this year’s big game includes some build up and excitement surrounding two brothers, Jason and Travis Kelce, who are competing against each other. This is the first time this has happened in Super Bowl history! One of the guys plays for the Kansas City Chiefs and the other with the Philadelphia Eagles.  I saw their mother, Donna, interviewed a week ago on one of the morning national news programs. She was asked the question, “Who are you rooting for?” She diplomatically answered with a twinkle in her eye, “The offense!” It was essentially a “non-answer” since her sons both play offense and technically won’t be on the field at the same time!

I immediately thought about the well-storied Cubs-Cards baseball rivalry that has impacted numerous families. As I take my wife to school each morning, I pass by a house with a cute placard that sits prominently on the front porch and is titled, “A House Divided.” Upon further inspection, you’ll see the sport’s logos signifying this epic rivalry between the Northsiders of Chicago and the eleven-time World Series Champions of St. Louis. I laugh out loud at that placard just imagining how the wife is loyal to her favorite ball club while her husband is pulling the opposite direction in support of his team!

The phrase, “a house divided” comes from a Bible verse that teaches us that, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.” (Matthew 12:25, NLT). There are many applications to this truth. Our Founding Fathers envisioned unity amidst diversity in America. While the ideal of forming, “a more perfect union,” is still more aspirational than actual, it is still a worthy goal for each of us to work toward.

In the spiritual realm, many believers (consider the struggles of the Apostle Paul recorded in Romans 7:14-25) are in a tug of wills between what God directs and what mankind wants. Christian marriages are always stronger when husbands and wives complement, complete and resist competition with each other. A sincere and courteous compliment blesses, acknowledges, and affirms that our differences don’t have to divide us.

As we can stand together in the Lord, there is strength to resist and stand against our adversary. Paul reminds us to “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11, NLT).

In Christ, our Victor, let’s shout, “Game on!”

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


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