Over the past few days we have been mourning the loss of Muhammad Ali, who has received great tributes for being the larger-than-life man that he was. Ali told us to float like butterflies and sting like bees. In addition to being an incredibly gifted athlete he was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War and a tireless advocate for those in need. In the ring, his opponents shook for fear, but in the end, his own hands shook because of Parkinson’s as we remember him lighting the torch at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
One commentator described his life this way: “Life is about showing resilience, not going undefeated.” To me, this captures the essence of what life is all about. You can bask in many victories, but there are those moments, events, and times when you feel you have gone 15 rounds and lost. You have not just lost on points, but you have been knocked down and knocked out.
Once again, this is the Christian narrative, with resurrection at the center of our life. Jesus was about healing, lifting, engaging, and encouraging people to come back from whatever knocked them down. It could be disappointment, loss, grief, depression, sickness – let’s just say all the brokenness of this world. None of this escapes him and we all have to face it, but our faith tells us that we will not go undefeated, we still be victorious because love is the final winning response.