BALL STRIKE

Ball/Strike

Today is Sunday December 17. It is a day to contemplate, to pray, to meditate. Please take time to reflect on the words of scripture and on your life experience.

Good Morning, my name is Carl and I am being coached by Grace. It is the Grace of God that stands behind us, is to the right of us, to the left of us and opens doors before us. (if you are comfortable repeat that statement using your own name.)

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 • Psalm 126 or Luke 1:46b-55 • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 • John 1:6-8, 19-28 

https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu//texts.php?id=50

Year B – Advent – Third Sunday of Advent : Revised Common Lectionary

As you read the Scripture write down your thoughts. Share how the Lord prompts you in the words of the text.

PRAYER: Oh Lord I am in awe to consider the concept of your existence, of your being. Lord I am humbled that when I touch my chest, I feel the beating of my heart and I know I exist. When my heart skips a beat I only become more aware that you exist.

Lord Isaiah reminds us that our lives participate in your life. Your life does not consider the risk of standing for justice, your life does not define boundaries of loving one but not the other. You life exists beyond my own understanding. It is in your life I experience a freedom so great that I am free to dance in the presence of danger. I know ultimately you will deliver, you will graciously reach out and I will know your gentleness. Your love is not defined by my words or by what I understand your actions to be. It is all consuming and ultimately it is an ultimatum in and of itself.

Oh Lord I know what it is to die. I know what it is to be lifted from the grave. I know what it is to breath. I know what it is to know your outstretched hand. I know what it is to be invited into the word…REJOICE…for that is the only thought bringing reality to what this is all about. To rejoice is to simply be apart of something so all encompassing no work could ever surpass it’s greatness, it’s purity, it wholeness.

Oh Lord it is in Jesus Christ the tension of these words reach their fullness. In Christ there is a message more powerful than failure. There is a revelation. We walk above the grave, above the ground that would hold us. It is a revelation that keeps us. Our bodies know the struggles. Our bodies know the desperate desire to let go, to release the tensions of everyday existing. May we now rise in your Spirit, may we rise from the presence of evil, may we renew soundness and be blameless before life itself. May we rejoice as these words from Scripture again stand the test of time. Amen.

MUSIC:

Rejoice in the Lord https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7CflVL5Drs

Rejoice In The Lord

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 ~ “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” REJOICE IN THE…

Give thanks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk_7wUR2Wdg

Give Thanks ( With A Grateful Heart )

EPHESIANS 5:19-20 ~ “Speaking to one…

MEDITATION: Ball/Strike

Tension was high that day. The best team in the league was playing the worst team in the league. The score was one to one. It was the bottom of the last inning. The worst batter on the worst team was up to bat. Bases were loaded. The count was three balls and two strikes. The best pitcher in the league was ready. He reared back, let go of a blistering pitch. The umpire in his mind simply thought wouldn’t it be wonderful if this boy could be the hero. All he needed was a ball. Just as the word came to his mind the ball crossed the plate. It was a perfect strike. The umpires thoughts became vocal as he yelled out BALL/STRIKE.

Batter out. Within a matter of seconds the umpire and the coaches were involved in a discussion reminiscent of the poem Casey at the Bat. The umpire said, it was a strike. End of discussion. Harsh words and a cry for justice came from the bleachers. The boy was out. The game continued. Both teams seemed unable to muster an offense. Then again the boy came up. Fans. parents, coaches all seemed to unload on the umpire again. A runner was on third, the batter stood ready to take the pitch. This time he swung the bat. It was the first time all season. The ball cracked against the bat. The coach yelled RUN! The boy looked around as if to say where? He made it to first base. The runner on third scored. The umpire declared the game over. The runners on the field, bewildered cried fowl. We can’t find the ball. The ball was buried inches in front of home base. The umpire reached down, picked up the ball, walked over to the young boy handed him the ball and said Congratulations. With one swing of the bat the boy became a hero.

Isaiah speaks of God’s desire for justice not as condemnation but as celebration. The story of Jesus is not about condemnation it is about celebration.

In today’s world there are a lot of things wrong. The more we cry for justice the more we seem to mess it up. The more we, like the umpire, follow our own desires the more we mess things up. The cry here is from God. Justice is not about condemnation it is about living right. It is about discovering how many times God desires the best for all.

The Christmas story brings this point home. Just as it wasn’t a home run that brought victory in the ball game. It was a tiny child revealing to us the purposes of God. My prayer is you may discover God’s joy, that you may rejoice over the simple ways you receive justice and grace. AMEN.

CONCLUSION:

Rejoice, Rejoice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6by5eux1rMs

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