Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Coming soon: Lectio Divina at halftime

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"Fans of the Philadelphia 76ers began to notice it this season. After the final buzzer, superstar Allen Iverson and several of his teammates -- more if Philadelphia has just pulled out an exciting victory -- circle at midcourt in thankful prayer, the players' long arms draped around one another. The Sixers' ritual mimics one that has been taking place in football for more than a decade, when bruised and bloodied players join hands on the 50-yard line after the fourth quarter and give thanks to Jesus for the opportunity to represent him on the grand stage of the National Football League. Baseball players don't pray around second base after the final out but seem to reserve their public thanks to God for post-game interviews. When he shut down the Yankees in Game 6 of the storied 2004 American League Championship Series, Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling declared on national television, 'Tonight was God's work on the mound.'

"Today, more pro athletes than ever are using their respective fields of play as pulpits to express, and promote, their faith."