by Rev Robert A Wendel
Faith is defined as,” Putting trust in God as the basis for a system of unshakable religious convictions and beliefs.” For Christians, faith is an ‘action word.’ The best way to explain faith is to do it.
James the Apostle, brother of Jesus, wrote, “ I will show you my faith by my deeds”(2:18,CNT). Compassion, service to humanity and seeking justice for others are hallmarks of a Christian life. As the Sunday school song says, “They’ll know we’re Christians by our love, by our love.”
Here are two examples from professional baseball:
Since 1939, our national game has recognized its stars and behind the scenes heroes by giving each a plaque in its Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York. The citation on the wall for former Dodger general manager Branch Rickey, finishes with, “ brought Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers in 1947.”
Until April of that year, pro baseball had two groupings, the all-White National and American Leagues and several Negro Leagues. From 1869 until 1947 no Black players were in the dugouts of National or American Major League clubs. It took courage to change the country’s game.
Mr. Rickey, a cigar smoking, bow tie wearing, devote Methodist layman, “made a vow before God that if he had the opportunity to correct this injustice, he would do it, knowing that, his choice would endure awful indignities. ”Jackie Robinson had guts enough to ‘turn the other check’, while facing numerous insults from fans and other players. But the color line was finally broken. The path to racial justice in the sport was made smooth by love and passive resistance.
Then there was the time in 1957 when the Pittsburgh Pirates were playing a regular season game and home plate umpire Stan Landes ejected Pirate pitcher Vern Law, from the game though he was not pitching that afternoon saying, “There was a lot of abusive language coming from both benches and I didn’t think that Law, an elder the Mormon Church, should have to hear it.” Can your neighbors see your faith?
On Saturday September 10th at 8:00AM, our deacons will hold another Men’s Breakfast. Rev Mark Stover, a retired prison chaplain from Crab Orchard Baptist will bring the morning message. This Fall, plan to support or be involved in one or two ministry opportunities encouraged by our Church.