Posts Tagged ‘Rob Manfred’

“Glory to God in the Highest,” Day 28: Forgiveness Is the Meaning of Christmas

December 28, 2016

I recently created a 31-day Advent/Christmas devotional booklet for my church called “Glory to God in the Highest.” I will be posting a devotional from it each day between now and the end of the year. Enjoy!

Scripture: Matthew 1:21

glory_cover_finalLast year, Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, announced his decision not to lift the Pete Rose’s lifetime ban from the game—a ban put into effect 25 years ago after Rose was discovered to have bet on baseball, both as a manager and player. To be fair, as best anyone can tell, he only bet on his team to win, which, if anything, would have given him more incentive to do well.

Nevertheless, Charlie Hustle, the all-time hit leader who sprinted to first base even on walks, who is easily one of the best to ever play the game, and who—from the perspective of a kid growing up in the ’70s and ’80s—was never less than a great role-model on the field, has been excluded from the Baseball Hall of Fame. I’m not minimizing his particular sins, I promise. But something about this story scratches the “grace itch” within me. Why can’t baseball forgive him?

I feel this way because I know who I am; I know what’s in my heart; I know I’m a sinner. I know what it’s like to try and fail, and try and fail, and try and fail again. I know what it’s like to want something so badly, yet at the same time know that I’m unworthy to receive it. And I’m talking about a prize far greater than admission into any sports hall of fame: I’m talking about admission into God’s kingdom, into God’s family.

God knows I deserved to be admitted there far less than Pete Rose deserves to be admitted into the hall of fame. The difference is, when I knocked at the door of God’s kingdom, I found a God who was “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” He was eager to forgive me and eager to welcome me in.

Have you received the healing that comes from the forgiveness of your sins? Are there sins that you need to confess right now? Read 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Sermon 12-20-15: “Reel Christmas Classics, Part 4: A Christmas Carol”

December 23, 2015

scrooge

This sermon uses themes from the 1984 George C. Scott adaptation of Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” to illustrate Jesus’ Parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14:12-24. It explores the nature of idolatry and how it relates to our lives. And, as always (I hope), it communicates the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I’ve inserted the videos below in the order in which they were shown last Sunday.

Sermon Text: Luke 14:12-24

[To listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3.]

Last week, Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, announced his decision not to lift the Pete Rose’s permanent ban from the game—a ban put into effect 25 years ago after it became clear that Rose had bet on baseball, both as a manager and player. Although, to be fair, as best anyone can tell he only bet on his team to win, which, if anything, would have given him more incentive to win. Because of this ban, Charlie Hustle, as he was known, the all-time hit leader who sprinted to first base even on walks, who is easily one of the best to ever play the game, and who—from the perspective of a kid growing up in the ’70s and ’80s was never less than a great role-model on the field—this same Pete Rose has been excluded from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

He wants in the hall so badly. No one will invite him. You know why he can’t get in? Not only because of the sins he committed while he was coaching and playing, but also because he’s lied to the baseball commissioner since then—to hide embarrassing details about his sins. No one else ever does that! And because he continues to gamble on baseball in Vegas, where it’s a perfectly legal activity. Not that anyone else does that, either! Read the rest of this entry »