With Ash Wednesday falling on February 10 the church’s Lenten season coincides with baseball’s spring training.
On Ash Wednesday we hear that “The acceptable sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart You will not despise.”
Baseball shares several terms with Christian theology. Players practice sacrificing or giving themselves up. Fielders try to atone for errors and redeem themselves at their next at bat. Pitchers get in trouble if they can’t hit the catchers target. Managers have to have faith in their relief pitchers. Ninth inning relief pitchers will come into make saves. As the season progresses batting streaks, slumps and bats will be broken. Managers make substitutions. Following the game managers may be asked to justify their moves. And, of course, the goal is to run home safely.
Jesus is our substitute, sacrificing himself for our sins, the times we miss the target, and making atonement on the cross, justifying us through faith. He is our redeemer, healing our broken and contrite hearts. All of this so that we might run the race of faith and be at home safe with Christ.