Monday, 08 January 2018 09:14

The Value of a Brother

Written by  Michael Cobb, Dalraida UMC
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 Imagine the scene. Down one point with only a few seconds left, the basketball player stands at the free throw line ready to shoot. Players are on either side of the foul lines, waiting, crouching, ready to take the rebound if there is one. The crowd quiets. Cheerleaders wait in anticipation. The game has come down to this one point. Years of practice and conditioning have converged into a moment and for one player, and everything rests on his shoulders.


   Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Well, it would be were it not for the blind player that’s shooting the basketball. Everyone else has their sight. But Matt Stevens, a high school senior from Darby, Pennsylvania has never known clear vision. He was born with two permanently detached retinas and by the 6th grade, had lost both eyes. There is good news though. Despite his deficiency, he has an older brother with enough vision for them both. He helped Matthew learn to ride bikes, ice skate, play soccer, and even gain proficiency with shooting free throws. So it was, for this non-conference game only, big brother convinced everyone to let Matt be the designated free-throw shooter.


Big brother taps a can on the rim so that Matt can hear. He dribbles, takes his stance, shoots, and this result in victory for his team. It’s an incredible scene. The roof lifts as the crowd erupts. Mom and Dad are so proud as they try and steady the camera. There is Matt, grinning like he just ate some sweet southern watermelon. What a scene. What a joy to behold.


Big brothers can change everything. Run out of lunch money? He has you covered. Need help with homework? He can teach you. Got lost in the woods coming home? Big brother will guide you. After all, he is family. He’s there to help you through.


As you begin 2018, could you use one like that? I know many people who could. They’re not trying to make a free throw, but they sure are trying to make it through life. They are in need of the loving, comforting presence of a strong sibling. You see, if I understand anything, it’s that more people are realizing that life isn’t what it used to be. Neighbors aren’t as friendly. Busyness has taken over. Families rarely eat at the table. Instead, the TV has become the conversation magnet. Entertainment is the value. Satisfaction is the goal. Yet, for everything that the things of this world promises, we have grown further off center, further away from peace, contentment, and love. We need the guidance of one like a big brother, someone who’s been there, someone who knows the worst of life, and yet has triumphantly overcome. Because of that, he can be trusted.


Dear friend, this is what we have been given in Jesus Christ. That babe in the manger grew to baffle the most wise and knowledgeable. He performed miraculous healings; manipulated nature itself. He drew the masses because he had everything people longed for. That has not changed. The darkest day of his crucifixion brought the greatest hope for you and I...salvation. Not just something out there in time and space, but salvation here and now. Today and every day of your life, you have the opportunity to be satisfied, to know peace, and to have contentment and joy through Jesus Christ…the source of life itself. What will you choose?


Everything changed for Matt when he made that shot. He was the hero of the high school. Kids sought his autograph. People sought his story. Some girls even sought Matt. Like a big brother, Jesus is seeking you because He believes in you and wants to stand with you. So, as the famous hymn reads, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”



Michael Cobb is pastor of Dalraida United Methodist Church in Montgomery. He may be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .




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