One of the things I love about this time of the year is baseball. There is just something about the sound of the crack of the bat that I love! It is no wonder why baseball is America’s national pastime. I am a huge Pittsburgh Pirates fan so I am a bit disappointed with their slow start to the season. The Pirates are coming off their first winning season in twenty years so there was a lot of promise coming into this year. I was hoping this might be the first year the Pirates advanced to the World Series since 1979.
I was only five years old so I vaguely remember the Pirates playing in the Series in ’79. The Pirates beat the Orioles in seven games to capture the World Series title. I know, I know…I’m living in the past! If you were a Pirates fan you would understand my pain! So humor me for a second as I recall what really stood out to me about the ’79 Pirates. It wasn’t so much that they won the World Series but actually it was the family-like atmosphere that revolved around the team the entire season. The Pirates adopted the song “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge to represent the family like atmosphere in the clubhouse and among the fans. When the song was played, the fans would chant “Fam-a-lee!” from the stands. Contributing to the family like atmosphere was the nickname of the Pirates star player, “Pops” Willie Stargell. As a Pirates fan, whenever I hear the song “We Are Family”, I automatically think of the ‘79 Pirates.
The ’79 Pirates help to remind me of the incredible importance of our own families. One of my professors in college told me one time that our most important ministry is to our family. We all need to remember that. Whether we are a teacher, coach, office worker, pastor, or anything else, we must remember to prioritize our family. Sometimes we get so busy with work or life we tend to neglect those people who are closest to us. I know this could definitely be true of me many times. I love how my favorite author John Maxwell defined success. He said success for him meant having those closest to him love and respect him the most.
Did you know when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you become a part of God’s family? John 1:12-13 says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” Take a second to read this verse again. This is great news! When we believe in Jesus Christ we are fully accepted into God’s family. Ephesians 1:5 says, “God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.” God values you so much that he invites you into his family. And as part of God’s family, your identity is secure in Christ. Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” When you believe in Jesus, you become a beloved child of God. The God of the universe cherishes and delights in you! Take some time to think about that. As much as I love reminiscing about the ’79 Pirates, it could never compare to being a part of God’s family!
Question for reflection:
1. How well do you balance your work and family responsibilities?
2. Take some time today to think about John 1:12-13. If you have never before made a decision to trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God is inviting you into His family!