Dodger Baseball and the Christian Faith

Dodger Baseball and The Christian Faith
Reflection by Pastor Scott Arnold
                Ever since I was a boy, I have loved the game of baseball. I would play with my brothers and friends in the backyard and park. I would pitch balls of socks into the corner of my room having marked out the strike zone. I would bicycle through town to the field where I would join others in practicing and playing in organized little league games. The baseball cards I collected were all for fun and enjoyment of knowing who the players were and what their statistics and stories were. At one point, I had cards of Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Honus Wagner, Mel Ott, Ty Cobb, and other players which were old and turned out to be rare. Little did I know how valuable they would become, and little did my mother when she was busy cleaning while I was in college. What is money after all when you have faith, love, and family?
                Yesterday’s first game of the world series was a joy to watch.  Marilyn and I are fans of Mookie Betts, as we had watched him play while we were in Boston. Now here we are in LA, and so is Mookie. This player stole 2 bases and swept through home plate to score and then homered to the opposite field in game one. The thing about Mookie is that he is soft spoken and considerate of others, while he lets his game and actions speak for themselves. He genuinely enjoys what he does and his joy in infectious. He picked up his daughter after the Dodgers won the National League championship in game seven and gave her complete attention. He is a man of faith and a humble example of Christian character.
                Now, here in LA we all hope that the Dodgers will go all the way to win the World Series. Even if they do not, of course, what matters Is how they play the game and the kind of character they can live out in the process. Having a positive witness and providing a positive example of honor is far more important than the outcome. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said:
                13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:13-14)
             We are to learn from the past, and step into the future God will lead us to. Our goal is to please God, not people. Our prize is not human acclaim, but the heavenward calling of God and to hear our Lord and Savior say: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Our treasure is not earthly trophies, but the salvation in which we and others of faith shall receive the crown of eternal life.
                May we not grow weary in doing good. During this election year with so much contention, may we learn the lessons of good sportsmanship that baseball teaches. May we aim for “HOME” and help others reach “Heaven” by coming to faith in Jesus Christ.
  - Pastor Scott Arnold

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