A Different Kind of Spring Training
This Holy Week, I realized God's hope in a place other than church.
Proclaiming that the tomb is empty – that Jesus has risen from the grave – is the most powerful witness any Christian can offer. But if our Easter celebration stops at proclamation then we’ve shortchanged the world of the hope and joy it sorely needs. The resurrection must also be about embodiment. It should change the way we live and move and have our being. Easter should transform and strengthen us to participate in God’s reconciling work in the world.
That’s why I chose to spend this Easter worshipping in a very different way and in a very different place. There was no midnight watch service or large family dinner, but there were countless moments of hope and an abiding trust in the possibility of new life.
For the past two years, John McCarthy, whom everyone affectionately calls Coach Mac, has taken a group of young baseball players from Washington, D.C., to join kids in the Dominican Republic (DR) for a week of playing baseball. Major League Baseball teams recruit heavily from the DR. Twenty percent of professional baseball players learned the fundamentals of the game in this small country. Baseball is part of the nation’s cultural rhythms. Coach Mac runs a legendary program in Washington, D.C., called “Homerun Baseball” where the t-shirts read “Talent is what you have, effort is what you give.” He is known for using baseball to teach life lessons. He teaches his players how to succeed on and off the field.
Image: Baseball illustration, joephotostudio / Shutterstock.com