Ephesians 2:1-7 (NIV)
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
The eighth inning was over and the score was ten to nothing. Team Heaven had not even got on base. let alone even hit anything that was thrown towards the plate. You could hear the jeers coming from the opponent’s dugout. Perhaps you have heard some of them yourself.
“You cannot hit anything. Look at the times you had it easy and you could not even hit the slow pitches. How do you expect to be able to hit his fire when he really starts to throw?” “You are just like every other team we have played, they quit just like you will, they reached the conclusion that we are just too powerful for you. I mean face it we have been at this game a lot longer than you have and we have some of the best players on our team.
The bantering continues, “Just take a look at Giant Despair, he is our best first baseman. He will tell you what the truth about you if you ever get on base. He will remind you of all the places you have messed up and you will become so depressed you will not be able to run towards second base. The demons of Team Hell are working overtime, they know that something is up and they have been told that somehow team heaven will win this game but they cannot see how.
Between Inning warm up is now over, the top of the ninth begins. Just before the first batter comes to the plate the player-coach takes off his gloves and holds each of the bats of the players in his hand and then gently places their bat back in their hands. Something almost electric happens when each player takes his bat from the player-coach. The first batter comes to the plate and Satan playing catcher behind home plate begins to heckle the batter. This time the heckling seems to have no effect on the heater. he is not distracted by anything Satan mentions. In fact he seems to be more encouraged each time Satan says anything about his past.
Goliath is pitching for Team Hell. His fastball is almost impossible to hit. Every other team that has come up against Team Hell has cowered when Goliath pitches but for some reason not this time. The first pitch was a strike right across the plate. The batter took a swing but the ball was passed before he made his attempt. Satan laughed and all the hosts in Team Hell’s dugout and the players on the failed and even many in the stands all hurled their abuse at the batter.
The batter stepped out of the batter’s box and looked down the third base line ot get his signals from either player-coach. he saw the sign, arms held out from his side shoulder height in the form of a cross. He glanced down at his bat and saw the blood stains from the bat his coach had given him. He knew right then what he was to do.
He stepped back in the batter’s box and dug in his cleats to get ready for the next pitch. There was a calm that came over him that even Satan and the umpire behind the plate could feel. The end up, the pitch, the swing and the batter connected with a solid line drive just over the first baseman’s head. This inning was going to be one for the ages now.
I hope you are having some fun enjoying the allegory of what Christ has done for us. I have concluded another hymn for you to help you focus on Christ as you prepare to go into the world today.
Come back for more tomorrow as we watch ow Team heaven will stun everyone and how their player-coach mixes things up to keep Team hell all confused.