“Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks, I don’t care if I never get back, Let me root, root, root for the home team, If they don’t win it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, At the old ball game.“
Many of you are familiar with the lyrics of the timeless classic, “Take me out to the ball Game” (Some of you are even singing it out loud as you read). It takes me back to my baseball playing days. The crack of the bat, the smell of fresh cut grass and the freshly oiled mitt, the dirt and grass stains on my uniform, and the celebratory feeling when my team got the final out to secure that elusive “W.” So, the month of August is a great time for me.
August is the when the Little League World Series captivates audiences, both young and not so young. Teams and spectators from all over the world gather in South Williamsport, PA with the hope of being crowned Little League World Series champion. But, it’s not the talent of the players and teams, the great plays or the big wins that appeals most to me. When those teams, fans, and volunteers gather for those few weeks in August, the world gathers together with a sense of unity and oneness, albeit for a game of baseball.
The Bible speaks often about the importance of “unity” and “oneness.” Unity and oneness with others is “good” and “pleasant.” Psalm 133:1 David writes, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” Unity does not mean that we all have the same likes and dislikes or the same ideas, the same backgrounds or the same cultural experiences. Unity means that we can dwell together even with the differences in backgrounds and cultures. Unity means that we strive for the common good even when our ideas and our likes and dislikes differ.
The secret to unity is found in how we view ourselves and how we view others. In Philippians 2:3-4 the apostle Paul writes, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” In other words, unity comes only when we set aside self and avoid considering ourselves better than others. Furthermore, unity only comes when we avoid looking solely at our own needs, desires, interests, and ambitions and look to the needs, desires, interests, and ambitions of others.
Our world needs unity. Our families need unity. Our churches need unity. Christian, we are to lead the way. Unity will only come when we start seeing others in light of the cross. Christ died a horrible and excruciating death so that he might exchange his righteous perfection for the sin of anyone who would choose to put their faith and trust in him.
The Little League World Series gathers together the world with all its different backgrounds and cultures to a sense of unity and oneness. How much more unity should the watching world see from the people of God?