If you don’t live in the United States and you’re reading this, you may not understand the subject of today’s post—and yes, it does relate to Christmas…
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock the last two months, you know that Tebow mania is out of control here in Denver and across the United States. Tim Tebow, quarterback of the Denver Broncos, uber-decorated college football player, has become the most famous, most polarizing athlete in the country.
After sitting on the bench for the first five-and-half games this season, Tebow has now led the team to five wins in six games. The avalanche of media coverage has propelled Tebow into the stratosphere where few people tread. You can read more about this in Brendan Scott’s excellent post from Monday.
Despite the adulation and criticism, Tebow has remained amazingly open about his Christian faith. While I acknowledge a similar devotion to Christ, I’m not sure I would be as outspoken as him. He begins nearly every interview by thanking “my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” and he always ends with “God bless.”
The man talks about life apart from football and helping kids with cancer, while deflecting praise to his teammates. This guy seems too good to be true, I’ve said to myself on a number of occasions.
This morning, though, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Denver Post—our local newspaper—ran a piece in their Op-Ed section about Tebow’s faith. I winced as I prepared to read the article, but to my amazement, here’s what it said:
While Tebow’s willingness to profess his faith in Jesus Christ grates on some, we don’t fault him for sharing his beliefs…What’s remarkable about Tebow is that he remains humble even as his star soars to new levels.
Yet after leading the Broncos to another come-from-behind victory last week, Tebow told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King what he was most proud of, which was being able to say the name of a young cancer patient in postgame interviews: “I let him know people cared about him. I let him know God has a plan for him.”
Does Tebow have room to grow as a quarterback? Absolutely. Will he lead a proud franchise back to the promised land? Time will tell. For now, he deserves a Mile High Salute not just for helping the Broncos string together a series of wins, but refusing to run from his evangelical Christian beliefs.
While some would begrudge him, we think the way in which Tebow carries himself is something everyone, regardless of faith, can learn a lesson from.
At a time when the Christian faith has become mocked, demeaned, and reviled by so many, God has once again thumbed his nose at his naysayers.
God will be glorified.
Which brings us to Advent: Two thousand years ago, God sent his son to be born in a cow town in backwater Judea. The Jews had gone four hundred years without a prophetic voice speaking on behalf of God. At the most unlikely of times, God thumbed his nose at his naysayers and sent Jesus into the unlikeliest of places.
And God was glorified.
God is in control–even when we doubt him. Even when our faith in him is mocked. Even when his followers and leaders fall short. And somehow, in spite of us, his kingdom will come and will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
If you don’t have plans for celebrating the birth of Jesus during this Advent season and you live in the Denver, Colorado area, please join us at The Neighborhood Church as we explore The Gift Of Christmas Presence.
Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado with Eugene Scott. While initially a skeptic, he’s coming around to being a Tim Tebow fan.