Pastor's Corner

15 Mar
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Mid-Week Challenge

It’s March Madness time! So have you filled in your bracket?  Millions of college basketball fans are searching the internet for tips, tricks and an inside scoop on how to complete the perfect bracket.  March Madness began in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches to determine the National Champion.  Officially it is called the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, but true fans know it as The Big Dance or March Madness.  For the next few weeks teams will play in a single-elimination tournament (currently featuring 68 college basketball teams) to determine the National Champion.  Fans compete with the action by attempting to predict the entire bracket.  Every sports guru seems to have an angle or inside info that might give fans a final nugget no one else has to offer.  The Holy Grail of brackets is the perfect one.  It has never been done before, but that does not stop fans from trying.  Every free throw, three point percentage, and distance to travel is factored into making the predictions.  How likely is the perfect bracket? 

Jeffrey Bergen, a professor of mathematics at DePaul University, has been crunching numbers on the topic for years. Bergen says that the chance of someone filling out a perfect bracket is 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. That's one in more than nine quintillion.   To put how large that number is into proper perspective, Bergen reports that if you were to begin filling out brackets now and stacked each of the 9 quintillion pieces of paper on top of each other, the stack would reach all the way to the sun and back...over 3,000 times by the time you finished.

If you are a basketball fan this has to be one of the most fun times of the year.  Everyone accepts the fact that no one will come up with the perfect bracket but that does not stop people from trying.  It reminds me of some Christians who study prophesies and the Second Coming of Christ.  Everyone one of them has a “bracket” on their theory of the time and place of the return of Jesus.  Some have made predictions, seen the date pass, and then adjust to a new time with just as much excitement and belief as if their previous attempt was a practice run.  Unlike March Madness this is not a game.  In the past people have put so much faith in these predictions that they have sold their homes and possession only to be left disappointed and penniless as the time comes and goes.   

Jesus knew of this temptation so He made it clear that attempts to determine His Second Coming were fruitless and a waste of time.  The thing we should be focused on is living right and witnessing to others. 

Enjoy March Madness but don’t get too caught up in trying to determine the coming of Jesus.  Live a life worthy of the calling and you will have nothing to worry about. 

But as for that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on your guard and stay alert!  For you do not know when the appointed time will come.   Mark 13:32-33

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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