A few months back my chairmen of deacons asked me to play on his softball team. Honestly, I’m not much of a softball player, but I agreed to play. Being that last night was our first game, I went home after work to find my glove. You could tell that my glove had sat dormant for several years. It was stiff and uncomfortable.
I got out for our first game. Our team is made up mostly of guys from our church. We play in a non church league. As the pastor several of my members warned me, “just to let you know since we are not playing in a church league, the language on the field is a bit rough.” They were right, in our second game, the catcher for the opposing team had a shirt that proudly displayed a 4 letter word in a nice bold font.
This softball league is not my first rodeo. I remember playing back with a team at Handley Baptist Church. One memory I had of that league was that they figured out I was a minister. After that moment everything changed. The opposing team began apologizing for swears and their behavior on the field changed. Out of respect to me they changed their behavior.
At first one would think that this was a good thing. The presence of a pastor on a baseball field cleaned up the game. What I struggle with is that the players on the field thought my main goal was to moralize them. They believed Christianity was about living a moral life.
Christianity is not about living a moral life. Christianity is about living a redeemed life. Whats the difference? A moral life is all about you trying harder. A redeemed life is coming to the understanding that your efforts at morality are in vain, that you are helpless to be right and that Jesus Christ has forgiven you from our sins.
This coming Sunday we look at a woman who was embarrassed by her sins. She hid from the eyes of the city around her. Jesus brought her the gospel and her life was changed permanently. What happened in her life next is interesting since she was living a life of hiding from the shame of others stares. She goes into town and tells everybody hers sins and then tells everyone about Jesus.
Life for this woman had changed drastically. Her life was no longer about trying to live better. It was no longer about hiding from the shame of not measuring up. She found that her goodness was not built on her, but instead was rooted in Jesus.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.