Benjamin Watson played tight end in college. Upon graduation, his Wonderlic score (measuring math, vocabulary, and reasoning) tied for the third highest in National Football League history. He was drafted in the first round by the New England Patriots; his team went on to win Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. He played sixteen seasons in the NFL.
Watson met his wife through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the University of Georgia. He has defended the unborn boldly and been outspoken about his faith for many years.
Yesterday, however, his faithful leadership may have been more crucial than ever.
Watson leveraged his influence to sponsor Boston Pray: Seeking Unity and Justice. The event’s Facebook page explained: “As Christians in and around Boston, we are grieved by the recent murders of unarmed African Americans, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the systematic oppression of those peoples. We recognize that the underlying sin of racism is plaguing our city and nation.
“This is a crucial time for Christians to come together across boundaries to be a catalytic voice for kindness, justice, and righteousness. All are welcome to join in united prayer, scripture, and song in the Parkman Bandstand of the Boston Common on Sunday, June 14 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Please wear a mask and take care to physically distance from others, and help us to spread the word!”
I watched the livestreamed service and was deeply impressed. The crowd included African Americans, Anglos, Hispanics, and Asians. They applauded and prayed for the police and local leaders before interceding for our nation. Watson noted that we need awareness, advocacy, and action, then closed by inviting those attending to trust in Christ personally as their Savior.
How to “delight” God
Watson began yesterday’s service by quoting Jeremiah 9:24: “Let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
“Steadfast love” is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek agape, referring to unconditional love. “Justice” points to actions that arise from a just nature. “Righteousness” refers to honest behavior.
As the New American Commentary notes, “These three terms express the very heart of Hebrew religion. They are not only the attributes of God; he delights in those who manifest these same qualities.”
As a result, God “practices” them—the Hebrew means to produce and exercise. He does this “in the earth,” at all times, and in all places with all people without exception.
Now he calls us to do what he does, testifying that “in these things I delight.” He wants us to find ways to love others unconditionally, without regard for their race or any other characteristic. And he wants us to express this love by seeking justice for them and acting honestly with them.
Jim Denison speaks and writes on cultural and contemporary issues. He is a trusted author and subject matter expert in areas where faith and current events intersect. The Denison Forum provides leading insight for discerning today’s news differently, empowering believers to navigate current issues and share the timeless truth of God’s word with a changing culture.