The Immaculate Reception is one of the most famous plays in the history of American Football.

It’s December 23, 1972. The AFC divisional playoff game. 

Trailing the Oakland Raiders 7–6, the Pittsburgh Steelers face fourth-and-10 on their own 40-yard line with 22 seconds remaining in the game and no time-outs.

Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw throws to halfback John “Frenchy” Fuqua, who gets hit by Raiders safety Jack Tatum just as the ball arrives. Tatum’s hit knocks Fuqua to the ground and sends the ball sailing backwards several yards.

Steelers fullback Franco Harris scoops up the ball just before it hits the ground and runs to the end zone for a touchdown. After the extra point Steelers go on to win 13-7.

Naturally, there was plenty of controversy involved. Based on the rules at the time it could have easily been ruled a turnover. More than forty years since, Raiders fans still call it the Immaculate Deception. 

Plenty of people still think that Christianity is based on deception as well, more than two-thousand years after Jesus rose from the dead and was seen by more than 500 witnesses at the same time (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

And there are some scripture passages people try to pick apart as well. Like this one:

I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Acts 20:35, NLT

The book of Acts was written by Luke, the same guy that wrote the Gospel of Luke. The Apostle Paul was meeting with the elders from the church at Ephesus. In this passage, Luke is reporting what Paul said, including a specific quote from Jesus.

It isn’t something that any of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) record Jesus as saying.

Which doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It simply means some people see it as controversial.

Just like the Immaculate Reception.

Tomorrow we’ll look at what it takes to become an Immaculate Receiver.

Today, become a Blessed Giver.

Bless someone with a kind word. An honest compliment for something you admire in them. A word of thanks for something they weren’t obligated to do. A visit to someone who is lonely. A sincere prayer for somebody’s need. A helping hand.

Take a moment to bless somebody with something unexpected that they can be grateful for.

As Jesus taught in his Sermon On The Mount:

“Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Matthew 5:16, NLT

That’s worship.