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Summary: Wrapping up the message on our Lord the "Wonderful One" (Isaiah 9:6) around a Football related subject!!!

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THE ORIGINAL “PELE”!!!

I agree Football fiesta is on, not allowing anyone a luxury of even a relaxing siesta what with our eyes mostly glued on the TV Screen. So in keeping with general euphoric soccer mood, I would like to begin with what rings a bell in everyone’s mind or should I say…what does not??? Edson Arantes Do Nascimento…now this name may not instantly ring a bell in Football fans’ minds’ the World over. Hmmm…then what about Pele …the “Black pearl” of the Footballing World and the veritable “national treasure” of soccer crazy Brazil? Well, it was Pele who was born Edson Arantes Do Nascimento on October 23rd 1940 in a poor family. Later on, thanks to Pele’s on-field exploits, his family was in clover. For some of his genius expressed in the Soccer field, which virtually acted as a canvas for this “artist” to come up with some “sublime strokes of his paintbrush” (read footballing feet)…you may watch this small video clipping…

Action: Display of the video clip available on the following URL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WOGkgb9xmchttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WOGkgb9xmc

Now coming to the name Pele…does this astonish you that nobody knows how Pele got the name Pele. No, not even Pele ((though there has much speculation on the subject) nor for that matter is there any meaning for the word Pele in Brazilian or Portuguese language (remember Portuguese ruled Brazil for a long time).

Switching to the spiritual realm, ever wondered what is the meaning of the word “Pele” in Hebrew? Well it means “Wonderful” as this portion culled from the Interlinear Bible testifies. What’s more, it is a one of the many “titles’” used to describe Lord, the Messiah (Isaiah 9:6)...

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pe•le

פֶּ֠לֶא

Wonderful

I wonder if there is Divine providence in the World’s greatest footballer acquiring the name Pele but I have no doubt whatsoever that performing wondrous works-befitting His Name- is part and parcel of our Lord’s character.

Coming to bare human sentiments…honestly what causes “wonder”? Is it not when we get something substantially more than what we actually bargained for? Imagine my wonder, when I ordered for Andhra meals in a certain hotel in Vizag and lo and behold was greeted by a glass of refreshing grape juice and Meetha Pan at the end of the main course!!! Talk of Customer delight leapfrogging Customer satisfaction by several notches (a marketing cliche??? Yes, ever the marketing man, Yours truly). I make it a point to patronize that Hotel (want to guess it’s name…well it’s name begins with D) whenever I visit that age-old port city of Andhra Pradesh. In this message, I want to train my spotlight not only on those instances’ in the Scriptures where we see the wonder-working One at work but (…boy… gear up…there is a twist in the tale too…) but also on those episodes (savory and unsavory) in the Bible, where we see puny, irreverent, finite human beings…YES WE…causing “wonder” in the “Wonderful” One.

Firstly actions’ of the Wonderful One in helping two helpless women from “behind the scenes”, as it were, for in both these cases the Scripture does not explicitly state that God “DID IT” but for the spiritually discerning ones’, His Divine Hand would be a bit too obvious to miss…

Ah…permit me a privilege of alliteration (in this Football season) when it comes to choosing my sub-topics with words beginning with an alphabet…what else… “F”. Permit me too repetitive use of the word “Wonder”. Speaking of repetition ever wondered why Martin Luther King in his immortal speech “I have a dream” in Washington on August 28th 1963 used the title of his message again and again in his speech or for that why he used the phrase “Let freedom ring” and “Now is the time” repeatedly in that unforgettable discourse? Repetition facilitates registration…Ladies and Gentlemen!!! Eons before Martin Luther King, a lowly Prophet Amos emboldened and empowered by the Lord authoritatively repeated the phrase “For three sins, even for four” (Amos 1-2 NIV) in his Earth-shaking message at Bethel, Israel. Now who taught this uneducated, poor Prophet the nuances of eloquent oratory? The Wonderful One!!!

Family…

Action: Display of three pictures based on a) Ruth 1:17 b) Ruth 2:3 and c) Ruth 4:13-17

While , my main topic , is “Wonder” , I would be failing in my duties if I miss out on one single truth, which runs across the pages of the Bible which is that God has not left in the Scriptures any issue untouched in the vast panorama of human relationships. Another “wonderful” act of our Wonder-working God? You bet!!! Oh yes, He has not left untouched even the most sensitive relationship between a mother-in-law & a daughter-in-law often dubbed in Indian colloquy as a 'Tu Tu Main Main' relationship which has been a theme of many a TV Soap opera (in the Indian context).

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