October 14, 2020
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So after that Super Bowl everybody wanted to talk about the commercials. Great! I wanted to talk about the New York Giants. Yeah, my team that year won the Super Bowl! Who cares about the commercials? Answer: the news, the blogosphere, social networks, gazillions of people at the water cooler! Of course, what did it cost - $4-$5 million a pop for a 30-second ad. Advertisers were hoping we would talk about their commercial and buying what they were selling.
I didn't see all the commercials, but one of them that year blew the others away. It wasn't funny, it wasn't suggestive, it was just compelling. A still photo from, what is in fact, the first thing I saw on the front page of a USA Today.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "It's Past Halftime!"
It actually aired as halftime was beginning, and it featured the iconic actor, Clint Eastwood (you might remember it), walking in the shadows of a big-city alley (very different from all the other commercials), and intoning, "It's halftime in America." Now, in reality, the commercial was sponsored by a major automobile company trumpeting their recovery and the comeback of the city of Detroit. But the message transcended its sponsor. And while it might be subject to political interpretation or manipulation, there was a reason it was all the buzz.
It had scenes capturing America's economic and political "downturn," and Eastwood's hoarsely commanding commentary talking about how Detroit had rallied around what was right; they came together and turned things around. And he called on Americans to do the same as a country. Then, with the camera focusing on the actor's leathery face, he said, "It's halftime, America, and the second half is about to begin." Now, I remember that one.
Now, I'm looking at a little different game clock. This one is ticking down to a time the Bible talks about over and over again; it's called "the last days." Those days that will culminate with the personal return of Jesus Christ to this planet. Jesus said He would die on the cross for our sins, and He did. He predicted He would rise from the dead three days after He died, and He did. As He returned to heaven, He promised "If I go...I will come back" (John 14:3). And He will.
He also told us how to tell time - His time. He said to look for signs that would precede His return: Natural disasters increasing in frequency and intensity, dangerous days in the Middle East, terror, people yearning for a messianic leader, a climate of uncertainty and fear. Our word for today from the Word of God is in John 9:4. Jesus said, "...as long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work."
Now, comparing headlines to the Bible, there's a lot of folks who are concluding that God's game clock might be running down; that it's way past halftime in our world. In fact, it could be that our world and our generation are hearing God's two-minute warning.
When football players hear that warning, they throw caution to the wind, they make every second count, they do whatever it takes to get points on the board. It seems to me that Team Jesus - all of us who claim to follow Him - should be doing no less. Don't you think we should be moving beyond maintenance mode to taking new ground?
We should be giving like there may not be a lot more tomorrows. Forget turf, forget territory! Let's wage a united battle for the lost souls in our town! Let's refuse to let our fear keep us any longer from telling that lost friend about our Jesus. Abandon the tentativeness that's bred by uncertain times like these, and trade it in for the boldness that times like these demand.
This is no time to settle for being on the sidelines or in the stands, or hiding out in some holy huddle. This is no time to be heading for the locker room or sitting on the ball. This game is too big to forfeit, and it's too costly to lose.