As you football fans out there are well aware, the upcoming Super Bowl is scheduled for Sunday, February 3rd. With this in mind I thought it would be fitting for us to familiarize ourselves with some advice from a former winning Super Bowl coach, the late Vince Lombardi. The legendary Lombardi coached his Green Bay Packers to win the very first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. In fact, the Super Bowl trophy itself is named after him, the Lombardi trophy.
Lombardi was once asked what it took to make a winning team. The book, Iacocca, records Lombardi’s answer: “There are a lot of coaches with good ball clubs who know the fundamentals and have plenty of discipline but still don’t win the game. Then you come to the third ingredient: if you’re going to play together as a team, you’ve got to care for one another. You’ve got to love each other. Each player has to be thinking about the next guy and saying to himself, ‘If I don’t block that man, Paul is going to get his legs broken. I have to do my job well in order that he can do his.’” Lombardi also said that night, “The difference between mediocrity and greatness is the feeling these guys have for each other.”
If we are going to be the victorious church that God expects we must have this kind of love among ourselves. There really is a sense in which love should motivate us to “block” for one another. Our legendary “Head Coach” tells us in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (NIV).
So, for those of you who watch Super Bowl XLVII let it be a reminder to you of what it takes for us as a church to be victorious— each player must do his or her part [use your gifts] out of a deep sense of love and concern for fellow teammates. And let the awarding of the Lombardi trophy be a reminder to you as well; let it be a reminder that you stand to gain a much greater prize when your game finally ends!
Your Loving Teammate,