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Empty Stadiums, Filled...?

April 17, 2020

Friends, there's no better American pastime in spring like baseball.

Yes, I know that is probably a matter of opinion. But there is something about the timing of spring training (usually in parallel with the full season of Lent), and then the Major League home opener - often within a few days of Easter morning. One a new beginning, another a resurrection. 

They both have the feel of new bloom, and new life...Easter as the true source of life. Baseball as a mere sign of it...but a fun one, and full of hope, energy and promise.

But not this year.

In my most recent sermon, I mused about the brainstorming of the MLB (Major League Baseball) officials: potentially having an abbreviated baseball season, or even no 2020 season at all. If they went with the former, they may isolate all the teams and their games to two locales (Florida and Arizona) instead of roughly 30 cities all over the country (i.e. their current homes). If MLB goes with the latter option, we have no baseball for a year...Imagine if we had no church for a year? Yeah, THAT would be rough.

Yet in some strange way, you could say that MLB has it worse than the rest of us, figuratively speaking of course. At least with church, we can gather "virtually" and online in real time - still hearing the gospel, the message, the songs, and having our faith fed by the Holy Spirit. But in order to be fed "in real time" with baseball, fans are forced to watch old games, and take part in "fantasy baseball." (I never was a fan of that fantasy baseball stuff...)

And so we yearn, - as church goers, and as sports fans - for the real deal. And as believers we can rest assured that God comes to us in the real, even if virtually, in real time.

But we want "normal" back, but the new normal may be different...and that, I believe, is ok, and might just teach us something about the excercise...of faith.

So the real takeaway, as I see it, is that whenever, and wherever, and whatever that new normal looks like...We will be ready. And we will be there together...with joy...and newness of life.

May the Lord be with you...Play ball!

-Pastor Paul

Posted by Pastor Paul at 12:00 am
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Bethlehem Lutheran Church
1050 Peninsula Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686-2799
Phone: 231.947.9880