The Musings 22 by Rev. Dr. Joe Joseph Kuruvilla
Read: Genesis 4, 27
Sunday, February 3; Every individual in this nation is waiting eagerly for the much awaited NFL game of the season- The Super Bowl. The Super Bowl fever is not only in every home and hearts of individual, but the repercussion can be seen and felt even in some food markets. One of the costly item today and tomorrow would be Fried Chicken Wings and Soda. Chicken Wings have become very rare in all the markets. It was only yesterday that I realized that most of the supermarket do not have chicken wings any more. Every rack in the super market that had chicken wings is empty. This is basically because the very concept of watching Super Bowl is not you sitting in your home and watching it alone, but on the contrary having like minded friends come over to your place, and watch the game in the giant screen of your television over fried chicken wings and other drinks- both non prohibited and prohibited . Some youth friends called me to watch the match and when I told them that I have two prayer meetings in the evening tomorrow- he replied " Hey Achen You need to cancel all prayer meeting tomorrow- When the whole nation is in front of big TV, watching super bowl, who do you think will come for the prayer meetings". However, I reassured him that I would join him later in the night to watch super bowl. Yes the nation is waiting in anticipation for the much awaited final match of the season between Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. The news agencies have already coined the term that this super bowl is "Harbowl". This is basically because though the game is going to be fight between Ravens and 49ers, the actual fight is between two brothers- John Harbaugh and Jim Harbaugh. John is the coach of Baltimore Ravens while Jim is the coach of San Francisco 49ers. Every individual in this nation is waiting expectantly as to how these two brothers are going to compete with each other. As brothers battle it out on the sports field, it is their father Jack Harbaugh, the patriarch of the NFL reigning first family, who is also in the spotlight. Which of his children will he support on Sunday and how will he feel when one son is the victor while the other the vanquished?. These are the questions reigning in ever ones mind. But the battle between the brothers is only in the playing arena. They both are thorough professionals fully knowing where to draw the line between personal feeling of brother hood and committing fully for the victory of the respective teams that they coach. I do not want to delve on the rivalry between the brothers on the sporting field but affirm something wonderful that both John and Jim Harbaugh retreated during the press conference yesterday. While speaking to the press, both the brothers attributed their success in their sporting career to the their family members especially there mother. Jim testified yesterday that their mother was very competitive and she always believed in both the brothers and according to Jim that was very important to both himself and his brother. Both Jim and John stated that it was their mother who took them to games, played catch with them, shot baskets with them but on the top of it the both Jim and John proudly says that "Our Mother Believed In Us". A mother who takes her children to games, playing with them and develops in them a sense of self-esteem and confidence. Remarkable!. I think on Sunday irrespective whether Ravens or 49ers win or lose, the ultimate winner would be the Harbaugh family. In world where even family members do not loose opportunity to pull down their own, and there is bitterness and fierce rivalry between sibling over so many petty issues, the Harbaugh family stands tall in their witness and commitment to stand together. A mother who loves both her son equally and develops in each of them potentials and talents to world class level is something that we need to proudly acclaim.
When we read the Word of God, we also find a number of incidents of sibling rivalry. This is recorded in Genesis 4, and Genesis 27. The sibling rivalry of Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau are two rivalries that stands out. Both these rivalries unlike the Harbaugh sibling rivalry were negative and full back stabbing. A rivalry that was full of deceit, because their relationship was built on deceit and lies. I think we need to look into what actually made brothers like Jacob and Esau to despise each other. It all starts with the negative mind set and wrong models that their parents witnessed in the family. A family where the father and mother sets wrong patterns and model of living. In Gen 25: 27-29, we find that both Jacob and Esau had different personality traits. Esau was outgoing, an extrovert and loved adventure like hunting, while Jacob was an introvert, quiet and was always indoors. This difference in personality traits not only separated them but their parents Isaac and Rebekah. Instead of affirming their individual traits and bringing about a harmony between those traits and brothers, the parents especially the mother begins to sow seeds of division and animosity among the children. It is said in v: 28, that Isaac loved Esau and while Rebekah loved Jacob. Later in Gen 27, you find the tragic incident of how a mother plots with one of her son against her own husband, causing pain and tragedy not only in their marital and family relationship, but a deep wedge between brothers. Later because of the deceit and treachery, Jacob becomes a fugitive and his life become a total mess. He finally realizes that life is not worth living, when founded on lies and deceit, life not worth living in pursuing individual happiness, but life become much more meaningful when life is lived in unity, in harmony, accepting and embracing not only personality difference among siblings, but differences that may arise when growing together. I think this was what Is sac and Rebekah should have taught their children, but they failed and the children had to go through deep crisis in life. I think as parents we also need to be very careful as to the kind of models that we leave for our children. Tomorrow, as Harbaugh brothers Jim and John battle it out in New Orleans for the super bowl trophy, they stand as a model to all family, in witnessing that it in togetherness, though distinctly different, harmony and union of family relationship, is what life is all about and a life experience that is worth living.