It’s almost “football time in Tennessee” again! The words of John Ward still fall across the radios of this state on Saturdays in such a phenominal rate that folks around here treat those words as if they come from kin. Those words bring pause to those of us who still harbor a sense of pride in our beloved state. I’m sure it’s the same where you live. All across the country, but especially in the south, there is a sense of state pride that at times is greater than any national pride a person may have. It is amazing how ones heart swells when the T is formed by “The Pride of the Southland Band”, the state flag is flown beside the orange T flag, and the state song is played, followed by Rocky Top. These traditions take place, not only on Saturdays but Friday nights as well. There is regional and state pride that is reminisce of a time long ago when statehood meant something.
There is another thing that still happens, at least in the places I have attended football games, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear it at the UT vs Auburn game last year. It is the invocation, and not just an invocation but an actual prayer. I was brought to tears when, in front of 102,000 fans, a man prayed the gospel and finished “in Jesus name” last year in Neyland Stadium. I didn’t expect it. I hear it at high school football games, but I live in a pretty fearless part of the state as far as Christians go. I did not expect to hear it inside of the great colosseum of one of my states most liberal strong-holds. I expect to hear it at NASCAR races, but not at a major university where many atheists and anti-Christian professors reside. Nonetheless, prayer was made and I was proud to be a Tennessean because I knew that although I am sure much fuss has likely been made by those inside of the UT elite, there was evidently too much pressure from Christians and traditionalists who ARE the state, to resist. The flags, the songs, the colors, are enough to overcome an old patriot like me, but there is nothing, I mean nothing that gets to me like the common grace which I know my Lord gives when He brings huge crowds to a reverent posture in public prayer. Hats off, heads bowed, eyes closed, and 100, 000 people at once, show respect to a God who many of them do not serve. I wonder if the Judgement Seat will be like this? I wonder if it sounded like this when great armies of old prayed before entering the battlefield? I wonder how long it will remain this way? How long will it be before the PC police make their way in victory to my old Tennessee home?
How is your state doing? How is your region or community doing with public prayer? Does it remain in tact or have your people succumbed to the pressure from the few? I’m interested. As you go to football games either on Friday or Saturday nights, take note and let me know. When you think about it, send me an update. I pray that prayer remains where you are. That is truly something to be proud of.