The next example

Psalm 133
In the last several weeks, major league baseball has offered two wholesome moments. Some would say all of baseball is wholesome. But I’m thinking of the Blue Jays fan who caught a homerun ball from a Yankees player. Almost without hesitation, the fan gave the ball to a younger Yankees fan wearing a jersey of the homerun hitter.

Tears started streaming down the young boy’s face. A day later both fans got a chance to visit with the hitter, who is the boy’s favorite player. 

Then last night, a Cardinals player, who is sure to be a first-ballot hall of famer, did something for the first time. His team was ahead by so much, they put him in to pitch. Mind you, he’s forty two years old and only plays as a designated hitter now. He didn’t have a great inning. One opposing player got a hit off him (several did). When he got to first base, he asked if he could keep the ball. 

It was a sign of respect and admiration for a great player and, I presume, a friend.

Don’t you wish these were the stories we read more about? That we could fill our world with an abundance of examples of humanity living “together in unity” (Psalm 133:1)? Of course, there are infinite moments like these. But they aren’t what makes the news. The many more we know happen don’t always involve professional sports players or celebrities. 

Maybe that’s a good reminder for us today. All the negativity we see on TV and read in media is our fault. We watch it. We consume it. If we didn’t, they wouldn’t show it. So many of us feed off fake adversity and suspicion of one another. It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry.

I’m a United Methodist because of our sense of connection. That was the one thing that caught my attention most about our polity. In every church I’ve served, I’ve tried to make that a local reality. You can guess the many reasons why that can be one of the most difficult things to pull off. But I keep trying because I agree with the psalmist who wrote Psalm 133. It is good and pleasant for us to live in unity.

So, our example may be baseball related today. May it be the Spirit spurs you to be the world’s next example of what it means to live at peace and unity with your family, your church and your neighbors. You may not be on TV, but you’ll know the Lord’s blessing.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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