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Cheering for the underdog

October 18, 2011
By PASTOR ROGER LEMKE - Fishers Of Men Lutheran Church , Pine Island Eagle

People laughed at me for rooting for Tampa Bay in the baseball playoffs. I guess I must be a masochist because I don't mind rooting for the underdog. And, if the Dolphins keep playing as they have been they will have a difficult time playing against their own cheerleading squad.

I love what Orlando Magic general manager Pat Williams said about his team's record back in 1992: "We can't win at home. We can't win on the road. As general manager, I just can't figure out where else to play."

In every game there is an underdog, a team that is overmatched, a team not expected to win. Jesus knew what it was to be an underdog and He knew that He was not expected to win. Therefore Jesus said: "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone" (Matt. 21:42).

We all have experienced the feeling of being an underdog or being on the losing side. It may be a financial collapse, bad news from the doctor, the rejection of a spouse.

Jesus knows what it is to be the underdog. to battle overwhelming odds, to be in great pain and to confront death, but He was also victorious and teaches us that we can be victorious as well. Therefore He says: "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." Even though Jesus would be rejected He would become the cornerstone of a new approach to faith, to life and to God. In other words, the underdog would become the victor.

And so it is with everyone who follows Jesus. The Christian faith is a faith of overcoming obstacles, a faith of believing that no mountain is too high, no valley is too deep. As Rocky Balboa said: "You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."

When you feel as if the door of life has been slammed in your face your cheerleader Jesus is urging you to keep moving forward. However, it is not in our own strength that we conquer. Jesus was rejected but He became the chief cornerstone through the marvelous work of God. Therefore when you draw the short straw remember that "you can overcome all things but only through Christ who strengthens you" (Phil. 4:13).



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