I was witness to a simple and profound work of God this past weekend, and I’m thankful for the lesson and for those through whom it came.
The adults involved in youth extracurriculars volunteer hour upon hour because they love kids and want them experience the joy of fruitful labor and learn valuable life lessons. Everyone who was witness to the 4:30 championship game of St. Paul’s “Warrior Classic” boys basketball tournament on Sunday January 12, 2014 got as valuable a lesson as one can receive.
In any athletic contest, whether in a Christian school environment or not, there are disagreements, and for the adults involved it can get particularly intense. As often happens in our homes, (Yes, even Christian homes) in the heat of disagreement some things can be said that should not be vocalized, and when they are those involved can get dangerously angry. Into the breach of just such a situation the Lord placed St. Paul’s 8th grade homeroom/upper grade religion teacher (and athletic director), Mr. Ben Mueller.
With tempers flaring dangerously Mr. Mueller grabbed the microphone and called for prayer, and a peace settled upon the gymnasium; in so doing and so praying the Lord reminded us, through the words of Mr. Mueller, who we are in Christ and of our call to bear with one another in love (Ephesian 4.2). For all of us present, children and adults, it was a lesson that that Holy Spirit is always at work, even in the midst of anger, to show us the way of forgiveness, peace, and love.
No doubt, there is likely still some anger and disappointment, but I know the Holy Spirit is at work. I had the privilege to witness that work again yesterday, calling sinners to repentance, giving peace, and reminding us of the upward call of God through Christ Jesus (Philippians 3.14).
So, thanks be to God for faithful teachers and for the opportunity that a Christian school provides us to learn and practice the life-changing love of Christ.
–Pastor Lance O’Donnell
Monday after The Baptism of Our Lord (13 Jan, A.D.2014)
P.S. I didn’t have the presence of mind to record Mr. Mueller’s intercessory prayer at the end of the game, but I did have the camera on for the pre-game prayer.