Yesterday began the sixth time I’ve taken this journey since we’ve moved here. The beginning of baseball season. This time means so much to me. I’ve watched both of my sons grow up on the ball field. It’s how we learned our way around our new city. It’s how our city became home and how we became receptive to finding a new church. A time of growth for our family. So, for the next few weeks, I will be writing about some of the lessons to be learned from baseball and how they relate to Christianity.
The first of these lessons relates to community. Baseball is a team sport more so, I think, than basketball or football. Sure, baseball can have its superstars. I’m thinking of such names as Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, or Hank Aaron. And yes, there are plenty of individual baseball players who have established records in the sport. To win games though, the whole team needs to work together. A pitcher can throw a no-hitter, but if his team doesn’t get at least one run, they won’t win the game. It can go the other way too. A team can have a superstar hitter, but if they don’t have good defense in the outfield, they won’t get enough runs to win the game either. In other words, a baseball team needs to work together to win the game.
It’s the same way with our churches and our faith. We need to work together as we live in community and share the love of Jesus with the world around us. Sure, we can go it alone. My family tried to do that for a number of years. But, we missed out on deep relationships with our Christian brothers and sisters, and we missed seeing God in action through a community.
There isn’t one person better than another in our churches either. Satan tries to put us at odds with one another by making us think so, but what counts with God is that we are all working together to solve our problems and to model what Jesus’ love looks like by loving one another in community.
This is demonstrated in Acts 2:42-47. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
These were people of faith who lived and worked together in community just like baseball players need to work together as a team. Modern day Christians also need to live and work together in community. This is a hard thing because our society has become so individually minded. Satan whispers that each of us should be recognized for our contributions and that we should always have our way.
Jesus directly contradicts this in Matthew 20:25-28. “Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'”
Today, I pray that we who believe will all have servants’ hearts and that we will be able to live and work together in community!
God’s blessings on all of you today!