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Yankees vs. Red Sox” By Brian Flanagan, Fiat Ventures

Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time

My grandfather is a New York Yankees hater.  It’s not even that he is a die-hard fan of another team.  He probably watches the Yankees more often than any other team, but he roots for them to lose.  When the Yankees lose to their eternal rival, the Boston Red Sox, that’s icing on the cake for him.  My mom has three brothers, and they’re all the same way.  A whole family of Yankees haters.

That is except for my mom.  She’s a die-hard Yankee fan.  She’d have the Yankee game on TV practically every night in the summer, and one of the most nostalgic sounds from my childhood is the sound of the game being broadcast on AM radio that we’d listen to in the car on the way home from the beach, or wherever we were adventuring for the day.

My mom never forced us to be Yankee fans.  She probably would have enjoyed the tension if we had been rooting for the Red Sox while standing in the kitchen, dripping wet from the pool with Popsicle in-hand.  But she was sold on her team.  She grew up seeing her team win championships, with some of the greatest players the game has ever known at the plate and on the mound.  It was almost as if she said to us, “You can root for whatever team your uncles and your grandfather are rooting for tonight, but as for me, I’ll be cheering on the Yankees.”

In the First Reading this week, we hear about Joshua and the Israelites having a little talk.  Joshua says to them, If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling.  As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua knew that the Israelites had choose the LORD for themselves.  They couldn’t just be bandwagon or fair-weather fans.

And the people responded by recounting all of the amazing things the Lord had done for them, and they make their choice; “Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”

This was my experience with the Yankees.  Since my mom always had the game on, I saw them play.  And I saw them win, a lot.  At times they seemed unstoppable.  They’ve won 5 World Series Championships in my lifetime, and it seems like nearly every year they’ve at least made it to the post-season.  I don’t even need to take my mom’s word for it, I’ve seen for myself, and I’ve made my choice.

We often wonder what the best way is to share our faith with our friends and family.  How much to we force the issue?  How often do we bring it up?  Well there’s a time and a place for spiritual conversations, but the most effective way to bring our friends and family closer to Christ is by staying close to Christ ourselves, by “serving the Lord”.  The best thing we can do for them is to give them opportunities to see the Lord working in our lives, so they get to the point where they can say, “I don’t even need to take your word for it, I’ve seen for myself that God is working in the world, and specifically in your life.  I see the hope and the peace that your faith brings you, and I want that too!”

So stand firm, plant your Yankees flag on your lawn and Christ’s flag in your heart, let those around you notice and say, “Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God!”

 

 

 

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