The best story in Major League Baseball has to be the Pittsburgh Pirates. After seventeen straight losing seasons, their young talent is blossoming under manager Clint Hurdle. They are right in the thick of things in the NL Central and are actually buyers going into the Trade Deadline on Sunday. Last night, the Pirates were robbed of getting a chance to win the baseball game against the Atlanta Braves.
In the Bottom of the 19th inning during a 3-3 game, Atlanta had 2nd and 3rd with one out with pitcher Scott Proctor at the plate. Proctor hits a ground ball to 3B Pedro Alvarez who makes the throw home that clearly beats Julio Lugo. Catcher Michael McKenry appears to apply the tag, but home plate umpire Jerry Meals calls him safe giving the Braves the victory. Today, everyone is calling for more instant replay in baseball and naming the call the worst ever made in MLB history. There have been worse, but it ranks up in the top 10 of what I have seen.
However, followers of Christ should not hold a grudge against Jerry Meals for very long. I’m sure Clint Hurdle will not have anything nice to say to Meals tonight who will be the umpire at third base. We should take the example that Jesus gives us on the Sermon at the Mount. This message shows us that no matter what harm is done to us, we still need to show the strength to forgive others as our Father up in Heaven forgives us.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)
We have to remember that Christ died as the propitiation for our sins and that we should be angry when a brother sins, but still find it in our hearts to forgive them and show them compassion. Jesus wanted to share that with his disciples, especially the one who was going to be the rock on which he was going to build his church.
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
So even when a call goes against you to lose a game or somebody says harmful things to you, I exhort you to stay strong and look to Jesus on how to counter back in a way that the Lord would do. Human error is a part of baseball, but it is also a part of life and we have to understand that. That is why without the grace of our Lord and Savior and His death on the cross, we would be condemned to eternal punishment. Keep this in mind as you seek Christ and try to preach the Gospel to people that if they try to persecute you, stand firm for God and He will reward you in heaven.
Finally, we have to pray for the Meals family. They are being harrassed and two message boards have posted his address and telephone number. Nobody deserves this and we need to pray to the Lord that Meals and his family are kept under the protection of the Lord’s strong shield.