As the National Football League moves into its postseason playoffs, this first week of the New Year is a good time to reflect on the season just past. It was marked by the frustrations of the referee lockout, the return of Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson, and the brilliance of rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson. Yet, of all the stories that were woven into the 2012 NFL season, no story is better than that of the Indianapolis Colts—both on and off the field. Off the field, we watched as head coach Chuck Pagano battled with leukemia and returned to the sideline for the final game of the season. On the field, this team full of youngsters, following the leadership of veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, turned their fortunes around dramatically. Going from a 2-14 record in 2011 to double-digit wins and a playoff berth in 2012 marks one of the most dramatic turnarounds in recent NFL history—making the Colts one of the best stories of the NFL season. In life, as well as in sports, it is most often the stories that remind us of what matters most.  And, in that light, there is no better or greater or more important story than the story of God’s love for a broken world. It was, in fact, the story that the writer Luke wanted to share with his friend, Theophilus, leading to the writing of the gospel of Luke. To that end, he opened his telling of the story with these words:

Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. (Luke 1:1-4)

Luke offered his friend more than just a story, however. He offered him “certainty” (v.4) In the story of that certainty was the birth of Jesus, the public ministry of Jesus, and, ultimately, the death and resurrection of Jesus. Certainty. And, the results of that certainty? The possibility of relationship with God and everlasting life, for, as John wrote:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

In this, the first week of 2013, it would be a terrific time to make His story part of your story. Believe in Him—He is more than a story. He is the ultimate certainty.   Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain