Bold Faith


Bills players praying for their fallen teammate, Damar Hamlin

Core scripture: “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.” (Romans1:16)

Message: My son and I were stoked to watch the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Buffalo Bills.  You couldn’t have scripted a better Monday Night Football matchup!  Two of the AFC Elite, going head-to-head, duking it out with that elusive number one seed and bye week at stake.  We were going to be Bengals fans, knowing a Cincinnati win would put the Chiefs in the one seed!

I was poking my head in and out of the room, trying to finish cleaning the kitchen and watch the game at the same time.  I didn’t even see what happened to Damar Hamlin, but when I came back and plopped down into my black leather chair, the action had stopped.  Something had happened.  The announcers were somberly talking about Hamlin getting hurt. 

The replay showed Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins lowering his shoulder into Hamlin’s chest on a routine play.  Hamlin popped up, but once he was there, he began to wobble, falling backwards to the field.  As it turned out, the collision sent him into cardiac arrest.  He was given mouth to mouth immediately and rushed off the field in an ambulance.

Players on both sides were racked with emotion.  Some of the biggest bohemians known to the NFL were weeping like babies.  The entire Bills team met on the field for prayer.  That was all they could do.  The commentators, subdued as ever, implored the viewing audience to pray.  So, my son and I prayed together.  By that time the teams had left the field, and the game was suspended.

A story popped up on my phone today.  Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow met with the captains of the Bengals team in the locker room.  They decided to wander over together to the Bills locker room to make sure the team was okay and wish them well.  I wonder how many athletes would have done that had they been in Burrow’s shoes?  I have a whole new respect for the man.  Total class.

I pull two lessons from this story as I get ready to begin 2nd semester tomorrow.  First, I love how the Bills were bold enough to pray in front of an enormous audience at the stadium and watching it on TV.  What an incredible witness that God was listening!  It makes me wonder if I would be bold enough to pray at appropriate times during my day at school.  Over a colleague.  With the right student.  Or simply in my head when I encounter a difficult situation.

Secondly, the class of Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ captains is awe-inspiring.  The little things like that are what people remember.  It makes me wonder how I perform in those categories.  Will I be remembered as a teacher who truly cares?  Are my actions consistent with my faith?  I sure hope so!  I want to leave a legacy as the teacher who went out of his way to show compassion, kindness, and love. 

Think about those things as the new year begins.  Be bold in your prayer life.  Go out of your way to let your students know you care for them.  Just like God is working behind the curtains in the Damar Hamlin situation, He is sure to be working in your classroom as well.  May 2023 be a year in which we all glorify Christ!

Challenge: Look for opportunities to show your faith at work in appropriate ways.  Ask a colleague if they need prayer.  Go out of your way to help a student in need.  Have your eyes open to any opportunity for someone to look at you and know by your actions that you are a Christ follower. 

Clint speaks: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sdeGU28hn_7NbRUhvQRTzBmCFjb2MZA0/view?usp=share_link

Scripture study: Read Daniel 6 and journal or discuss the following questions …

  • How was Daniel’s boldness shown?
  • Would you have continued praying boldly as Daniel did?
  • What was the result of Daniel’s actions?

Prayer points: Lift up the following areas to the Lord …

  • Pray that God will heal Damar Hamlin.  He is still in critical condition in the hospital. 
  • Praise God for opportunities to show our faith in the classroom. 
  • Pray that you can boldly put Christ on display through your actions. 

Just for fun: I am glad to say the professional development I experienced today was NOT like this! 

Prayer: Lord, help me be bold in my Christian faith in all areas of my life, especially at work.  Amen. 

Categories: Uncategorized

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