Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Roger Clemens and Jesus

He's back! They hoped he'd return. They believed he'd return. Today he made it official. Roger Clemens, (Professional baseball player), signed a 1-year deal to pitch for the remainder of the season with the Houston Astros. The deal is reported to be in the $22 million dollar range. He only pitches every fifth day!! And the season is 1/3 of the way over!!

He is probably the greatest living pitcher, whether currently playing or retired. Several teams made high-powered pitches to convince him to come back. Some had promised a private jet to get him to the ballpark from his home. They promised he wouldn't need to travel with the team on road trips to other cities. ESPN broke into its regular programing to make the announcement and the talking heads were only talking about the 1 topic: Roger "The Rocket" Clemens is back!

Now if you're not a baseball fan, this has to seem terribly bizarre. If you're not an Astros fan, this has to be terribly disappointing. All this to-do about this forty-something athlete.

Got me to thinking about another anticipated return.

A basic tenet of the Christian faith is that Jesus Christ will return. We believe that he died on the cross, was buried, and that he was raised back to life. We believe he was seen by hundreds of people. We believe that after forty days he ascended into heaven. And we have the hope that he will one day come again.

We believe that at that time, he will set the world right. We believe that there will be a new heaven and new earth; that things will be as they should be. No more hunger. No more sickness. No more crying. No more selfishness, greed, or violence. "The lion will lie down with the lamb."

We believe that he came once as a suffering servant. We believe he will come again as a conquering king. We believe he will welcome those who lived for him to everlasting life and the opportunity to be with him.

Somedays Major League Baseball seems more "real" than relationship with God. (Funny. Saying professional sports seem more real than anything other than professional wrestling seems strange!) But that's the way this world works. The tangible, the measurable, the touchable and the visible get our allegiance and our attention. Often the most important, the unseen, unmeasurable things like love, truth, or beauty get overlooked or ignored.

I wonder if Christians are as excited about the return of the one who laid his life down for us, as Houston Astros fans are about The Rocket?

Grace & peace.

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