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'Praying For a Win' (Thanksgiving Edition)

November 28, 2019
By Pastor Bill Te Winkle

Does God cares which team wins a sporting contest?  Let’s leave aside the theology for a moment and just a enjoy a really good story which maybe offers a clue.

Duke University is a juggernaut in the world of men’s college basketball. They get the best players, have arguably the best coach and get the best media coverage. Which might explain why there are so many ‘ABD-ers’, as in ‘Anybody But Duke’ fans. So, on a Tuesday night in November, in a game which #1 Duke was favored with the most lopsided odds of the season, the boys of Stephen F. Austin (I don’t know; look it up) took on Duke.  A couple of hours later Duke was undefeated no more. In a last second play, SFA’s Nathan Bain made the shot heard round the basketball universe.

That’s interesting to basketball fans, but here is why everyone else should care, and why maybe God did too.

Nathan Bain is from the Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian decimated his family’s home, community and his father’s church and school.  A Go Fund Me page was set up to help. Before the upset of Duke the website had collected $2,000.00.  On the day after the UPSET OF THE YEAR (so far), the Bain fund had collected over $62,000.00. Now the church and school will be rebuilt, along with the community around it, and God will be worshipped and children will be educated.  SFA’s Bain says it best himself in an interview quoted by espn.com:

"That's really our main focus, to make sure everyone has a place to worship and to make sure the school is taken care of so these kids can get a proper education."

I don’t know if God cares whether SFA beat Duke, but I am guessing that God answered a lot of prayers that night in a way that very few expected.  And in the end, of course, God won.

The takedown of Duke by Stephen F. Austin will likely be lost in the hype of March Madness as Coach K leads his young team toward an NCAA Championship.  It will be remembered in the Bahamas for a long, long time.  And that, as they say, is why they play the game and why maybe, just maybe, God does care who wins.

Shalom,
Pastor Bill