Tough, grown men, who almost never cry, cried this week, all over LA, and around the world. The sudden and tragic death of Kobe Bryant has had a massive impact on people of all kinds. If you don’t understand how a stranger who just played a game could mean so much to so many, this could be a good moment for you try to gain greater empathy and understanding of the experiences of others, to come to understand the potential power of sports to deepen relational bonds, and to think about how a relentless commitment to one’s vocation can inspire others to persevere in whatever vocations or situations they are in. But this is also an important time for us to remember—and help those we love also to remember—the perspective on life and death that God provides in his Word. Perspective from verses like:
“. . . you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
“Redeem the time for the days are evil.” (Eph 5:16)
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,” (Heb 9:27)
“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matt 6:20).
“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:11)
It is also an important time for us all to realize more deeply that as Christians, our greatest heroes are those who exemplify lives marked by Christ and the gospel. And that means there are plenty of heroes you sit next to at church, serving Christ in the mission field, and perhaps mowing your lawn. May God grant us the grace and perspective to see the heroic in them, and grow in our dependence on and devotion to the only perfect hero who ever lived.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8)
- For a theological reflection on the value of sports you could check out this article I wrote.