I love baseball. I can remember sitting on my grandfather’s lap, watching the new team in town on the black and white television set, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and listening to to the great Vin Scully as he masterfully called every play.
Back then hall of famer Walter Alston was the manager of the Dodgers. Alston won seven National League pennants and four World Series Championships in his 23 years as Dodgers manager.
Today, Joe Torre is the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Joe has managed the Mets, Braves, and Cardinals, but his greatest success was with the New York Yankees, where from 1996 to 2007, the Yankees went to the post-season each year and won ten American League East Division titles, six American League pennants, and four World Series titles, in addition to compiling a .605 winning percentage with them.
Before moving to the Yankees, Torre had been a broadcast announcer for another of my favorite teams, the Angels, seeing the games from the broadcasting booth, high above the field of play.
Not long after he was named manager for the Yankees, the Yankee’s announcer Phil Rizzuto suggested that managing could be done better from that vantage point, where he could easily take in the entire ballpark.
Torre replied, “Upstairs, you can’t look in their eyes.”
My friend, in Jesus, God also chose to come down on the field and look into our eyes.
Listen to these verses from the NT book of Romans, chapter 15:
“5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
The God who gives endurance and encouragement. Just as a baseball manager trains and encourages his players most effectively from the same level as his players, our God came to us as the God/man Jesus, to look us in the eyes, help us, encourage, and yes, even to save us. Jesus knows you. He understands you. He loves you.
He is the God who gives endurance and encouragement.