To date myself, it was not a miracle when the USA hockey team beat Russia in 1980 (“Miracle on Ice“). And as much as my AU friends would like to think, it was NOT a miracle for the “Hail Mary” to result in an Auburn touchdown to beat Georgia last Saturday with less than 30 seconds left in the game. Actually, I don’t think anything that happens in any sports contest is a miracle (Think, “Immaculate Reception“).
Yes… I know many Auburn Christians were praying, as were many Georgia Christians (U of A Christians too). So are we think God intervened in a miraculous way for Auburn to win? Why do we think a play in a game in a small southern town on one night in all of human history would be worthy of a miracle from God? Back in 2007 I wrote a post titled, “Does God Care Who Wins Football Games?” that might be worth taking a look at.
A last minute drive in a football game to snatch victory from defeat is not a miracle. A grand-slam home run in the bottom of the 9th inning with the count at 3 balls and 2 strikes is not a miracle. The USA beating Russia in hockey is not a miracle. Alabama winning another national football title… if it happens… will not be a miracle either (No matter how it might take place).
What a miracle is: Giving sight to the blind… giving hearing to the deaf… feeding 5,000 with few loaves of bread and fish… crossing the Red Sea… water coming from a rock… an ax head floating on water… walking on water… turning water to wine… raising the dead to life… THOSE THINGS are miracles.
Let’s be careful how we use the words of faith… especially the word “miracle.” To assign it to something less than what it is given in Scripture is to diminish the real meaning of the word. That we use religious terminology when talking about sporting events is a troubling thought to contemplate. In doing so, matters of faith are diminished while sports is elevated to an idolatrous place in society.
Iron Bowl Update (12/2/13): As unusual as Auburn returning a failed field goal 108 yards is, it still doesn’t rise to the definition of miracle. However, congratulations to the Auburn Tigers… Plainsmen… War Eagles!