Due to the ridiculous statements being made in the aftermath of the Super Bowl, I am compelled to leave our present discussion on the American idols of busyness and lifestyle to say a few things about “The Savior of New Orleans.”
I visited New Orleans as an 8th grader on a field trip. Even way back then (and wow was it ever way back then), I found the city an intriguing mix of architectural beauty, cultural complexity, American dreaming and American poverty. The jazz filled the air on nearly every street corner. The French Quarter was glamorous and quaint. The cathedrals were breath-taking. Jackson Square was the epitome of American consumerism. The Superdome was almost too big to believe. And, the homeless and drunks and destitute were epidemic. What a mix of the have’s and have not’s – the conundrum that was, and is The Crescent City.
Now, some will acuse me of being a band-wagon fan, but I have witnesses who can corroborate my story. As a boy growing up in KY, we had no in-state professional sports. Young boys had to pick a team at random to make their own. Most boys in my central KY hometown chose the Cincinnati Bengals, sheerly out of proximity. But, I did not like their uniforms. Too gaudy. So, I chose the black and gold of the Saints, who were then known as the Aint’s.
I have wanted the Saints to succeed since a young boy. And, when they finally did, what timing! Just when the city is fighting to re-emerge, re-build, and rekindle hope, their team wins the Super Bowl. It would take a callous person to ignore the significance of it all. But, friends, we must be very cautious when we start to assign significance to the affairs of men. Remember the Tower of Babel? Our sinful tendency is to exalt ourselves, and ignore or altogether forget God.
How many people have you heard using the words, “Savior,” “Re-birth,” and “Hope” in reference to the football team known as the Saints? It is as if the city of New Orleans thinks that winning a game will somehow cure all their ills. While it may boost their economy and their spirits for a while, this euphoria shall pass.
New Orleans, I realize it is a fat chance any of you are actually reading this blog, but on the slim odds that someone is listening – please repent of your idolatry and turn to the one and only Savior who can truly set your captives free. His name is Jesus.
Ironic that the city known for its decadence, drunken parties, sexual perversion, gut-wrenching poverty, and American materialism is represented by a team called the Saints. Even more ironic that the Saints are being viewed as the Savior, when the Bible says the saints are so only because they have been saved by the Savior. His name is Jesus.
May the churches of the Risen Christ in New Orleans seize these opportunties to be ambassadors for the only Savior who truly saves from the curse of sin, and death, and eternal condemnation. May the churches of Jacksonville, NC do likewise. If people want to talk of rebirth and saviors, then by all means, let’s go talk to them!
“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).