Thursday, March 30, 2006
The Big Dance
For the first time, the men’s basketball team at George Mason University has made it to the Final Four. In college sports, the Final Four is a big deal and a Big Dance; it will be covered all weekend long.
Until now, GMU was known as a lesser program with less of a chance. They are therefore deemed a “Cinderella story.” As one GMU student explained, “Before this, nobody knew what George Mason was. Now, friends call me and say, ‘I wish I were there.’”
The Bible is filled with Cinderella stories. Israel is described as a politically unattractive choice to represent the God of the universe – yet God chooses Israel anyway. David appears the weakest choice of twelve brothers – yet God chooses him anyway. Fishermen, tax collectors, and even prostitutes seemed unusual choices to build a kingdom – yet Jesus chose them as witnesses and representatives. Time doesn’t permit me to list the other 100+ examples.
Why is God so interested in Cinderellas? By choosing weaklings and misfits, God proves that his kingdom’s success belongs to him. It’s as if a coach found some of the most unsuccessful players, formed a team, and won the NCAA tournament: the praise would rightly go to the coach. Certainly he utilized some of the latent talent in his team, but it wouldn’t have happened apart from him.
But there’s another reason God is interested in Cinderellas. It is part of his nature to show mercy by lifting up the weak. Consider, for example, one of my favorite psalms:
Who is like the LORD our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
with the princes of their people.
He settles the barren woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the LORD!
God stoops down. God finds the poor and the outcast and lifts them up. And the result? Read the last three words again.
Hopefully I’m a “team player,” but I don’t kid myself – I’m not God’s most valuable player. But I am glad to be part of the Big Dance.
Posted by Ken at 9:01 AM