Opening day. Major league clubs in cities around the nation love to celebrate the first day of play for the upcoming season. You’ll find parades, ballpark festivities, giveaways, and refurbished rosters, all to lure in fans for the big day. All the festivities aside, you’ll find nothing more important in a major league city than the hope for a race to the postseason.
This is THE year!
Every fan, at every stadium, brings a certain sense of optimism that the new year brings new hope of recognition. Maybe it’s the right pitching rotation, a new shortstop, or a closer who can shut down opposing teams. Whatever the case, whatever the reason, any hope can provide reason for excitement. Last year’s disappointment is gone and forgotten, because today is opening day and our team has some rather promising prospects for a fun year of baseball.
Ah, opening day. It sounds good just to be able to say it.
I am pretty sure the apostle Paul would have been a baseball fan. He understood what “new beginnings” were like. Many times he spoke of the newness that came to a person who was “in Christ.” For those who chose to follow the ways of the Savior, Paul would often encourage them in their new life. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, he says,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”
It almost sounds like a conversation you would hear in the parking lot on opening day at your favorite ballpark, doesn’t it? The smell of brats in the air and new hope on everyone’s mind.
Last year is forgotten! The old is gone! New things on the horizon!
And that’s how it is when we come to Christ in faith. Through all that He did on the cross, we are made new when we respond to His invitation in faith. Our past is gone! It is forgotten! And by His grace we are made whole. Complete. We are given reason to celebrate, a fresh hope for the future, a reason for optimism. He, Christ, is now our hope!
So, go ahead and celebrate. It’s a new year for those of us who are in Christ. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is full of hope, and our postseason is secure! Sounds more like the story of Easter than it does opening day. But whatever the case, it is a new season, and we have all the reason for joy, because we are on the winning team.
“Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” -Martin Luther
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