Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Message from Our Spring Intern

In the midst of all of the hoopla recently regarding the conclusions of the Men’s and Women’s March Madness basketball tournaments, my favorite sports moment in the past two weeks actually came on April 1, opening day of the Major League Baseball season. The Boston Red Sox faced (and defeated) the New York Yankees in the first of many games these classic rivals will play against each other this season, but the moment that stuck out most to me came in the ninth inning at a time when the Red Sox were already winning 5-2, a sizable last inning margin by most people’s standards: one of the Red Sox players scored from second base on an infield hit, something almost unimaginable in the majors.

So what does any of this have to do with you, God, or me being the new intern at Plymouth Creek Christian Church? Well, for starters I have always loved baseball, and in high school base running was not only my specialty but also my favorite aspect of the game. Unlike the obvious contributions of hitting and fielding, base running has the ability to more subtly but still drastically change the dynamics of a game. It is a part of the game that most people, baseball players included, take little notice of, and a part of the game that receives little attention on Sports Center. Perhaps most importantly, though the best base-running plays require teamwork and sacrifice. For some such plays, like the “sacrifice fly” or “sacrifice bunt”, this is obvious; but for others it is not, as when a groundball to the right side allows a player to go from second base to third base (or, in the case of the Red Sox game, all the way home), an otherwise awful hit usually only bringing an out now also advancing a base-runner, creating another opportunity to score and eventually win.

This (perhaps convoluted) example from sports sheds light on a much simpler reality that transcends the baseball diamond: good teamwork always requires sacrifice. Last night, for instance, my 13-year-old sister Bailey was told she has to play her worst favorite position in soccer for at least the next few weeks, something she’s very upset about but is coming to terms with because she loves her team. Or consider this often-read passage from Philippians showing God joining our team in Christ, obtaining victory for us all through sacrifice:

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,

he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

It is in this light that I want to thank you for letting me join the team here at Plymouth Creek, even if only for a short while, for I know it will require sacrifice on your part and on mine, but hopefully growth in love and in joy and in Christ for all of us. Teamwork is not always glamorous or fun, and hardly glorifying in itself, but nevertheless glorious and beautiful in due time.

Grace and Peace,


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