“I love you.”
I see the homeless guy, and I love him. I’m going to help him if I can. That’s being Jesus. That’s the movement I’m asking you to join. It seems simple, and you might think, “Of course, that’s how I was raised,” but most of us still don’t do it very well. I don’t do it very well. There’s so much more I could do to love my neighbor as myself. I keep trying!
The movement to love our neighbor as ourselves is stirring. It is stirring in this world. It is awesome to see.
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes Americans forget that there’s any other country out there. I mean, sometimes you go to church, and you can actually think Bethlehem was in the USA. You know? And Jesus was white. Probably clean-shaven. And He drove a Mustang. Sometimes I think we might really think that!
But go around the world, and you’ll see a church that is so passionate and understanding of how to love its neighbor. Or you’ll see a church that is pushing congregations and services to really grasp the mentality of loving your neighbor as yourself. It’s so refreshing to me. It shows me is that we are starting to unify. We are starting to gain momentum in this movement. And I believe in the scripture. When the church becomes one, our God and King will come back. I truly believe His return is part of the unification process.
After all God has shown me, I no longer pitch for myself. I pitch for people I don’t know. I pitch for the men and women and children who are sent into sex trafficking. I pitch for people who cannot eat. I pitch for people who cannot drink. I pitch for people who do not have houses to live in. I pitch for people who are naked. I get to clothe them! I pitch for all these people.
I pitch to glorify my God and King and to represent him well. In order to represent Him well, I put on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt after a game and walk back out into the real world. I show everybody that I know they exist. I don’t live in my own little bubble. That’s the reputation athletes have, but I want to break that mold, because that’s not who I am. I raise my three boys to be selfless. “You want to do something?” I tell them. “Then do it for somebody else. Do not do it for yourself.”
If you see me on the mound pitching, pray for me, now that you know I worship when I pitch, and that I pitch for the least of these. I hope that when you guys go to your jobs and your classrooms, you think about the least of these. You will find your joy when you love your neighbor as yourself in your job and at your school. That’s the movement I’m stirring.
More on this next time. See you Thursday.