Thursday, September 29, 2016

Devotion 9.29.16

It is a great story.  Roy Hobbs is an exciting baseball prospect who shows promise, striking out the home run king on a train trip in the epic baseball story placed in the 1930s.  Roy returns an old man to actually play after a mysterious woman guns him down in his days of promise.  Roy fulfills the promise much to his team's owner's dismay as he has more money to gain keeping his team a loser.  As the New York Knight's, Roy's team, moves to the championship, the owner offers him money to lose the game.  Roy's response is an epic home run that makes the Knights the champions. The ball hits the lights as it leaves the park, causing a shower of electrical sparks that resembles a fireworks show.  The music, almost a fanfare of sorts, coupled with the shower of sparks and Roy running around the path, is the story of triumph of reaching the promise of your youth, good over evil, and a victory of the underdog.

So, when I learned who Jose Fernandez was Sunday while in Houston, I began to learn about a story of good over evil as he escaped communist Cuba, bringing his mother with him.  I learned about a young man who was an outstanding pitcher who was early in his promising career.  It all came crashing down early at the age of 24 due to a boating accident.  The Marlins, his team, returned to the field on Tuesday all wearing his number, 16, gathered at the mound, knelt down (for a different reason that others who are kneeling these days), prayed, and then tearfully hugged one another and the other team.  Imagine my surprise when the first batter for the Marlins, after ceremoniously taking the first pitch on the right side of the plate (Fernandez' side), turned to the left side of the plate and launched the first pitch into the upper deck.  Ironically, the second baseman who launched the epic home run has only a handful of home runs in a career of about nine years to this point.  He called it a miracle and told the team that if they didn't believe in God, they needed to, because he doesn't have the strength to launch one that far.  Tears streamed down his face as he ran the basepaths signaling a tribute to his lost teammate.  It is, as people said, the stuff stories are made of.

Our story, as seen in scripture, is a story of sin and death, and the promise of victory because of a faithful God, who sends his Son to dwell among us, die a cruel death, and rise again to give us that victory over sin, Satan, and death.  How do we dwell in the Word of God?  How do we ponder on God's Word and seek its meaning in our lives? 

Pray that we, "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." (Colossians 3:16)

Hope Men's Ministry

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