The St. Louis Cardinals' cap that I bought in honor of my wife's father has become something of a symbol these past few weeks. It seems as though, uncanny as it may be, that when I wear the cap, the Texas Tech Red Raider baseball team wins. Today will be the final test to see if the Red Raiders go on to the College World Series or lose and finish the season. Should they win, then the cap will see yet another day. Sure, you can call me superstitious, but the one game I didn't wear it they lost. When returning from Waco last week, I left it off in the car. A friend told me to put the cap on, which I did, and Tech had a three-run rally. I took it back off, and they fell short by two runs. So, the cap is viewed as mystical and possesses that power baseball people look for.
Things possess meaning, for better or worse, and we assign meaning to those things. They can be clothing, music, words on the written page, art, and a host of other items that are symbolic and begin to possess "meaning." Baseball, as a whole, represents eternal youth to me. It represents possibilities. A new season begins, and each team has hope and renewal in the new year. As the season ensues, suffering, loss, and victory are part of following a team. Not all teams are going to win, so we take comfort in various aspects of a season. When the team achieves, so to the fan. The game has renewed us at that point. Renewal, then, exists along a spectrum in baseball in terms of the season, a particular player, the hope we have, the victory, and the potential championship.
So, too, the Word of God. We go to the Word for our hope. We go to the Word for our comfort. We go to the Word for our life to see along the spectrum of life where we fall and where we may go for renewal. Our sin is revealed as we see God's Word work in our lives. Our failures as we see those who have gone before us in scripture fail miserably as well. And yet paradoxically our renewal is in the same pages. Isaiah says, "Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (40:30-31)
Peter says it this way, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (John 6:68)
We ask God to send his Spirit to renew us through his Word, the sacraments, through the hearing of his Word and in prayer. We pray this Word strengthen, renew, and lift us to continue to bring that same Word to a world that needs to hear it.
Hope Men's Ministry