Hope in an Easter bunny, a football game and a comeback

| March 25, 2016 | 0 Comments
Grauer

Grauer

Chaplain (Maj.) John Grauer
Plans and Operations
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

Easter means different things to different people.

For some, it’s cute little fluffy chickens; for others, it’s bunnies.

In my family’s tradition, we get together and color eggs – lots of eggs – and hide them all around the house for my kids to find.

Now, an egg can represent “new life,” because new life hatches from the egg, and Easter tells a story about the resurrection giving us new life. But, like other religious holidays, like Christmas, the real meaning has been forgotten.

Those who are Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or Evangelical understand what Easter is all about: It’s a story about faith. Yet, for many of us, Easter is just another holiday.

I want to share a story with you about one of college football’s greatest comebacks during an important, nationally televised game.

With only six seconds left on the clock, the teams were led by the eventual Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie (Boston College) versus Bernie Kosar’s defending national champion (Miami Hurricanes). Boston was down, 45-41, with time for one last play. That’s right, one last play, no second chances. The announcers were Dan Davis and Gino Cappalletti from WRKO, Boston.

 

Dan Davis: “Here’s your ball game folks … as Flutie takes the snap. … He drops straight back. … Has some time. … Now he scrambles away from one hit … looks … uncorks a deep one for the end zone. … Phelan is down there.”

Gino Cappalletti: “Oh, he got it!”

Dan: “Did he get it”

Gino: “He got it!”

Dan: “Touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown, Boston College! He did it! He did it! Flutie did it! He hit Phelan in the end zone. Touchdown!”

Archive file photo by Mark Lennihan, AP) College quarterback Doug Flutie trots off the field after leading the Eagles to a 45-31 victory over Army at Alumni Stadium in Newton, Mass., in this Nov. 12, 1984 photo. Flutie completed 19 of 29 passes for 311 yards and 3 touchdowns to become college football's all-time leading passer with 9,695 yards. Flutie, the Hail Mary-heaving Heisman winner who puzzled both opposing defenses and his own coaches with his unconventional style, retired Monday May 15, 2006 from professional football, according to a statement released by the New England Patriots.

Archive file photo by Mark Lennihan, AP
College quarterback Doug Flutie trots off the field after leading the Eagles to a 45-31 victory over Army at Alumni Stadium in Newton, Mass., in this Nov. 12, 1984 photo. Flutie completed 19 of 29 passes for 311 yards and 3 touchdowns to become college football’s all-time leading passer with 9,695 yards. Flutie, the Hail Mary-heaving Heisman winner who puzzled both opposing defenses and his own coaches with his unconventional style, retired Monday May 15, 2006 from professional football, according to a statement released by the New England Patriots.

As you know, Flutie did it. He gave hope. The “miracle” happened and Boston College was the winner. (Yes, some people tell the story a little differently, depending on which team you’re on, because a lot of time has passed since that comeback happened.)

On any given day there are comebacks. The Easter story tells about a comeback; it’s about Jesus who overcame death. We can debate how it happened or if the story is entirely accurate. But I want you to look beyond a story of death and look at the story as a comeback.

Jesus, the person, was accused of a crime that he was not guilty of. He was placed on a cross for his particular belief and faith and was subject to all sorts of inhuman punishment until “game over!”

You heard me: The game was over.

Today, people face the same kind of fate. People around the world are suffering for their beliefs. It makes little difference as to what religion you aspire to – when you face persecution, discrimination or hatred, all you really want is it to stop, and that is what Easter and 2,000-plus years of tradition are about; stopping persecution and hatred.

It became a story about three people dying on crosses and one person offering something new, something better and that was hope. That was a comeback: Everything lost, all to be gained. Love overcame hate. Forgiveness overcame revenge.

What the Easter season gives us is hope for a world without fear and hate, hope for a world better than this one, and hope that peace will overcome.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Observances, Standing Columns

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *