Well congrats, Ravensites. A hard fought win. A great year. A storybook finish for Ray Lewis. A real team effort. And only a little defensive holding at the end. An exciting game and truly a good contest.
The best news? With the Ravens win I came out on top in our family pool. No money was on the line but bragging rights are big at our place.
Did you hear that the Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson was announced as the league MVP? Didn’t want you to lose that in all the hoopla.
To many, Super Bowl XLVII will be remembered as the Blackout Bowl. The amazing Ravens win will be overshadowed by the shadows that darkened the Superdome for zero-dark-34 minutes. (It’s a shame the power outage couldn’t have come during Beyonce’s bouncing.) My friend Tim Harlow (@tlharlow) tweeted during the outage that “every church tech team should feel better now.” They know how it feels to be “under the spotlight.” Nobody notices them until there’s a mess up. Speaking of tweets, Tide detergent tweeted, “We can’t get your blackout. But we can get your stain out.” Ahh, I see what you did there. Oreo Cookies seized the moment by sending an instant ad that quipped, “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.”
Once the lights came on everyone started looking for someone to blame. The Dome pointed the finger at the Power Company. New Orleans people wondered about a curse because the stadium was built too close to a graveyard. Was it Robert Irsay, that diabolical Colts owner, who had snuck in to steal the lights? I had one rabid Ravens fan try to convince me it was a conspiracy in which some evil 49ers personnel stole into a room and cut some wires or something.
Today the power company ‘fessed up that the culprit was a faulty relay device that had been installed in its switching gear. Amazing! The largest television event in the history of the world went dead for 34 minutes! People at Super Bowl parties had to actually talk to each other. Wow! The Blackout was a Blessing!
Jesus boldly states that in a darkened world, He has come as light, and that light is still shining. Are you a Christ follower? Jesus says you are the light of the world.
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:14-15
We live in a blackout. Life here is like a dimly lit stadium. Is your light shining brightly? Is the Power flowing through you? Or are you hiding your under a bowl? Are shining only dimly and blaming someone or something else?
Maybe you want to be a bright light for God, but wonder HOW to do that. Maybe you have seen other well-meaning Christians flood their evangelistic lights so brightly into someone’s face that the poor person felt like it was an inquisition: “Ve hav vays of making you talk!” Some Christians “turn their light on” in a way that “turns people off.” Maybe that’s happened to you.
But the power outage remains. The world desperately needs Light. And Jesus shows us how to throw the switch:
In the same way, let your light shine before people, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
He says YOU are to shine the light. And shining light isn’t about going around and sticking it in people’s faces. He says it’s about doing good. Loving real people. Being real. Getting involved. Building relationships. Showing up. It’s about seeking out your neighbors, friends, family, and associates so you can be a blessing to them. Jesus says they will sense the light and know where it came from.
If Jesus is in you, He will shine through.
So let your little light shine. In my next post I will offer a super practical guide suggesting how you can BLESS others around you. For now, begin with prayer.
Who is it that God is laying on your heart to BLESS?
Someone far from God but close to you? Someone you work with? A neighbor? Pray about them. Mention their name out loud to God. Seriously. That changes things. Ask God to let you shine His light on them. Plan with God to do some good deed for them. Take them Ravens’ cupcakes, maybe. Or pray for snow and when it comes, shovel their walk. Ask them how you can pray for them.
One way or another, BLESS them. Not so they will praise you. So they will praise our Father in heaven, where there is no darkness at all.