Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly (& sisterly) love, in honor giving preference to one another.
In our household March Madness has always been watched and followed diligently by my husband, Danny. But this year I decided to take an interest in it, too. I haven’t been able to watch the entirety of most games thus far, but have watched enough to learn more about basketball and to follow it more closely. I’ve especially enjoyed the wild close-call endings! In observing the players’ constant running back and forth, the tricky passing, the amazing shooting, the hustle of frenetic guarding, and even hearing the sound of the incessantly squeaking shoes, I can appreciate how fans are caught up in the magic of it all, year after year (sans 2020).
However, in my opinion, the real magic is in the sportsmanship, teamwork, love and respect that all the players and coaches seem to have for each other, regardless of their teams. This is some of the good which I have observed so far:
During a game, a hand was often extended to help lift a teammate or opposing player up off the floor. Reading lips, I could see encouragement shared in the huddles. Those players on the bench were steadfastly there with strength and readiness. Coaches genuinely guided their players with love, even through some moments of frustration and angst.
After a game, winners and losers alike were drawn into the arms of their teammates to share joy or sadness. Opposing team members lined up to recognize each other as individuals with a handshake, high-fives, pats on the shoulder, or even big bear hugs. Sometimes a winning coach would talk eyeball to eyeball with an opposing team player, encouraging and showing deep care. And of course, the coaches would nearly always take time to exchange kind comments and admiration for each other. Truly there were times when my eyes welled up with tears at the way “love one another” was being practiced.
These were “sacred moments” packaged up in a lot of noise. Just. like. real. life.
As children of God we are called in this life to lift up and encourage others, be steadfast, strong and ready to help. We are called to be community, to practice sharing sadness and joy, to reach out and “touch” our fellow travelers in different ways and show deep care for one another. Let us remember we are all on the same team of humanity and must try to “be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love.” That is always the winning play.
God of grace and mercy,
Show us how to love each other. Bless us with ideas on ways to demonstrate that love. May the ideas become actions, and the actions “paid forward.” May your love flow continuously and people be drawn to you because “God is love.”