I am a St. Louis Cardinal fan. It is not mandatory that I do not like the Yankees (as juxtaposed with our signed covenant to hate the Cubs); but I somewhat resent the Yankees. They have an infinite amount of money to spend in the building of their team and the Cardinals have to do it on a relative budget. It is like the owner of a small business being expected to own a home in the same neighborhood as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The Cardinals defeated the Yankees in the 1964 World Series (Thanks Bob Gibson) and I hope they never have to play them again. Sometimes you should quit while you are ahead. The only thing I like about the New York Yankees is that they don’t put the players name on the back of the uniform. If Babe Ruth, Lou Gering, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio didn’t get their name on their backs these modern players don’t either. If just being a part of the most successful baseball franchise in history and wearing the pinstripes isn’t enough for you…that is just too bad. I like that. If I owned a pro sports team the first thing I would do it rip the names off the backs of the uniforms.
It is of interest to me that our ten or so Christ Church softball teams do not put the name of our players on the back of our uniforms. We put the name of our savior on the front! It is certainly an honor to wear His uniform. When we asked Jesus Christ to come into our lives as savior and Lord, we became part of the most dynamic team in history; the Church of Jesus Christ. The church was founded at Pentecost and is empowered by the Holy Spirit to be the most powerful force on the planet. If I played for the Cardinals, I would be jazzed to put on the same uniform worn by the Gashouse Gang, Stan Musial, Ken Boyer, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Red Schoendienst (Albert Pujols used to be on this list). It would be enough to wear the “birds on the bat” across my chest…I wouldn’t need my name on the back.
Church of Jesus Christ, do you realize we put on the same uniform worn by Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, Paul, Augustine, John Calvin, John Wesley, Mother Teresa and Billy Graham? If they didn’t get their names on their uniforms…it isn’t looking good for us either. It is more than enough that God invited us to wear the uniform that displays the mighty name of Jesus!
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop, a Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church, is the Senior Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois.