Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: February 2nd

God's Ballpark

One of my favorite times of the year is baseball season. Yeah, I know, it seems interminable. Spring training starts in February and the season ends with the World Series in October. That's nine months. But for a baseball junkie who once had aspirations of playing professionally (okay, so I was ten) it's nine months of heaven. My favorite team to live and die with, and I've died a lot the past few seasons, is the Reds.

They're in a new ballpark now which seems a shame considering that they finally got the old one to where it was a decent place to watch a game. I hear the Reds new home is a beautiful park with a lot of new amenities. But I'll bet ya it has the one thing that just drives me crazy. I'll bet ya it has a jumbotron. You know, one of those big screens that flashes players and stats...and also tells you when to stand, sit, clap, cheer and boo. That's what bugs me.

In the dumbing down of humanity the jumbotron has to be right at the forefront. I have watched people in ballparks from New York to Arizona sit patiently watching the big screen to know whether to cheer, moan or clap in rythym with those huge hands on the screen. It seems that we have forgotten how to celebrate the joy of a homerun or the pleasure of a strikeout to end an inning with the bases loaded. And the big screen has made it to church.

I am happy to be a part of a congregation which has the screen for singing. It gets people's noses out of the hymn books and their eyes looking up more. Our media people are intelligent in their use of the screen. I hope that it never gets to the place where people are being told to lift their hands, clap their hands, jump up and down and other things during worship. People worship to celebrate their faith in Christ.

Worship should always be that which flows from the heart as freely as cheers flow from fans at a baseball game. If it has to be commanded, is it worship? "Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing Psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works. Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who rejoice seek the Lord." Psalms 105:1-3 Fodder for the jumbotron? No. Just sincere encouragement from a worshiper who tells us not to be afraid to cheer God's homeruns before we're told to.

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