The Almighty One must be wondering what One must do to excite One's creation for worship. It's one thing to watch the church's anemic Souper Bowl Sunday lose big to futbaw's Super Bowl Sunday. Moses versus Manning? Bible versus Brady? Soup versus suds? Like they say, "On any given day . . . ," especially THAT day, that weekend.
But the first weekend in April is no ordinary weekend. Think Resurrection Sunday. Methinks the gargantuan game may not be the National Championship basketball game.
Remember Time magazine's cover story on April 8, 1966, entitled, "Is God Dead?" The blood red letters leapt from the obit black background right into the blinding sunlight of American consciousness, where the explosive words fell like a bomb on the playground of children. In 2008, The Los Angeles Times declared the page one of "10 Magazine covers that shook the world."
Is God dead? There are so many ways for gods to die. And all of them are okay. New gods abound. Old models get, well, old. Americans like new. Still, is nothing sacred? Isn't there a huge difference between the mortality of our little personal gods and our big national god? I mean, isn't god God? Should the #1 ranked God in the world lose on championship weekend to a god? Any god?
What if God loses because God is dead? Deicide, after all, is in vogue these days. Although professing atheists never shy from taking their shots, practicing atheists -- those who believe, but live as though they don't -- may be the deity's guiltless assassins. Alert Christian CIA (Christians in Anxiety) stand behind dark glasses and ear pieces ever vigilant and eager to defend the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Might marasmus, however, prove the silent killer? Why not? If babies waste away and die when neglected, why not God? Maybe God is dead. Maybe God will be a no-show on Showdown weekend.
My better guess is that God will show up in Indianapolis Easter weekend. While the eyes of America, perhaps the world, are glued to the exciting games in Lucas Oil Stadium April 4-6, God, I predict, in a thousand churches and a million hearts will be up to that old backdoor game that nobody plays better. Remember the unwed virgin teen-ager? Remember the feed trough in the barn? Remember the lonely hill outside Jerusalem? Remember the penitent thief on the other cross? Remember the empty tomb? Greatest comeback ever.
Resurrection Sunday offers victory to all tired of losing. Everyone can win. Will God or the NCAA basketball tournament draw the larger crowd in the worship playoff? Judging by bracketology-versus-theology chatter at the national water cooler, God doesn't appear to be the favorite. Nonetheless.
March Madness will be peaking soon: Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four, then one champion and thousands, nay millions of winners. Hurray for all the schools, teams, athletes, coaches, and fans!
Let the Champion and the winners of March Madness have their day. Especially let the confetti fall for all who celebrate Easter's Gladness. Tickets are free to all who want to go to The Big Dance!