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FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON NC
  • Writer's pictureDr. Jim Baldwin

Hunkered Down Homilies – Shake It Off

Logo for the 2024 superbowl in Las Vegas.

In case you have been in a coma this week and missed it, this past Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday.  After weeks of hype, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers met at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.  The game itself was great.  Although neither team could get a lot of offense going early in the game, the game wasn’t decided until the final seconds of overtime.  The halftime show was something!  There were so many rockstars and so much happening on the field, I almost forgot there was a football game going on.  I confess I was very disappointed by what happened after the game.  I expected someone to ask Travis Kelce, “You’ve just won the Super Bowl.  What are you going to do now?”  Instead of the traditional answer, “I’m going to Disney World!” I expected Kelce to say, “I’m getting married to Taylor Swift!”


Back to the game!  There were moments of brilliance by both of the quarterbacks and by the kickers from each team.  It seemed, however, that the course of the game was shaped more by the fumbles than by anything else.  Each team lost the ball at a critical moment in the game.  When a player drops the ball, and it is picked up by the opposing team, the dynamics change immediately.  Offense becomes defense and momentum shifts in the opposite direction.  Fumbles are never on the playlist.


The bigger question, however, is about recovery.  If the offensive team that drops the ball also recovers the ball, the play moves forward and no harm is done.  I have even seen a player recover his own fumble and turn it into a touchdown.


The Bible tells us about a time when Peter dropped the ball.  He was near the end of his journey with Jesus, as Jesus was only hours away from the cross.  Peter fumbled his answers when he was questioned about his relationship with Jesus, swearing he never knew him.


Following the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, Peter had another face-to-face encounter with Jesus.  Three times Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?”  Each time offered Peter a chance to recover from his betrayal and to affirm his love for Jesus. 


Love opens the door to grace and forgiveness.  Love allows us to “Shake It Off” and stay in the game.


Dr. Jim Baldwin



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