Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Verses on Tim Tebow's Face Today.

Tim Tebow, if you don't know, is the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback for the University of Florida. The Gators are arguably the best college football team in the country right now and Tebow, the best player.

Tebow played his last regular season college game today, as Florida dismembered their in-state rivals, Florida State, 37-10. As he is wont to do, Tebow, a homeschooled Pentecostal Christian, etched a biblical citation in the black facepaint underneath his eyes. Today, the verses were Hebrews 12:1-2:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (RSV)

Yes, this is a sports reference. The "cloud of witnesses" are "fans in the stands". Tebow probaly chose this passage as generic encouragement to do one's best, regardless of what one is doing. However, it is obviously much more than that; the race is life itself, and losing is, quite literally, not an option here. Since Tebow is, presumably, Arminian in his Pentecostal soteriology, he is probably aware of this. However, he probably does not yet know about all the tools and weapons he has at his disposal: eating the Flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His blood in the most holy sacrifice of the Eucharist immediately comes to mind.

Tebow probably also does not know the following: the "cloud of witnesses" referred to above, the "fans in the stands," are occupying no stadium on earth. They are in heaven, as is attested in Hebrews chapter 11. This passage confirms the historical, apostolic doctrine of the Communion of Saints: the Church on earth is one with the Church in heaven and vice-versa because all are "members of Christ" and therefore, "members one of another". Does Tim know this? Probably not. May the Holy Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary and all the Saints in heaven pray for Tim and all those who are like him:

Lord Jesus, introduce Tim to your Mother and to all your Friends in heaven.


Mother Clement said...



Mother +Clement in FLORIDA!

FrGregACCA said...

LOL. Keep prayin' for him, Mother. He's probably gonna play on Sunday for a while, which is fine, but afterward, I am pretty sure there is an Orthodox altar in his future.

John Roop said...

Fr. Greg,

What in the world are we to do with you Orthodox?! (There is a smile on my face as I write this.) All the "theological stuff" you presume Tim probably doesn't know is stuff I learned years ago in the Christian Church, which is about as non-liturgical and a-sacramental as possible. Maybe he's managed to pick it up somewhere, too. Just because someone is a home-schooled Pentecostal doesn't necessarily imply that he is theologically naive (or just plain ignorant). Cut the rest of the Christian world some slack, my dear brother. (And, again, I'm smiling here.)

I know your Nativity Fast has started already, but mine -- Western Advent -- starts tomorrow. So, may I wish you a belated, blessed Advent.

And,while you're busy praying for Tim, of your great mercy, pray for this sinner, too.

Peace of Christ,


FrGregACCA said...

You're always in our prayers, John, and we appreciate yours.

Actually, regarding Advent, the ACCA Advent also begins tomorow as well (long story that), and the Syriac Patriarch has mitigated the actual Advent FAST to the final two weeks of the liturgical season.

I think Tim was raised with some of the same theological influences I did, and, believe it or not, the Campbellites are actually more sacramental than what I grew up with. At least Restoration Movement folks celebrate the Lord's Supper every Sunday and take seriously the necessity of baptism. Also, while the relationship between Hebrews 11 and Hebrews 12 is clear to anyone who actually reads the text, I doubt that Tim has been taught to connect that with the Saints in heaven who reposed after the ascension, not to mention the issue of actually seeking the prayers of those Saints.

Anyway, I do have this sense -and I could be wrong- that Tim will eventually be an Orthodox priest.