PROFOUND . . . “I AM” – Beating the Mendoza Line
PROFOUND came to a close this past weekend with the story of Peter’s encounter on the beach with the risen Jesus Christ – a series of three questions and responses paralleling three denials and failure. Peter is restored and shows immediately why he and also all of us, need a Savior.
Baseball season is once again upon us. For this lifelong baseball and Dodgers fan, it’s a great time of the year. I know no other sport where numbers and statistics are kept for every aspect of the team and a player’s performance and his impact on team success. For example, stats are kept on a team’s winning percentage when playing on Sunday, during daylight, when the skies are blue and if the groundhog has seen his shadow (just kidding about the blue skies and groundhog). The metrics are astounding. One highly watched and revered metric is batting average as expressed in “hundreds” – “he is a three hundred hitter or he’s batting 292.” What this really means is he is hitting .292 as this stat is the calculation of the number of official at-bats divided into the total number of hits a player has made. The best players have averages in the 300’s during the season and over a career, a lifetime batting average in the 300’s is like the Holy Grail. Ty Cobb holds the career record at .366 and among thousands, less than two dozen players have achieved a season average of over 400.
From a mathematical perspective, it means the best players fail 7 times out of 10 to get a hit. It seems ironic that those who find success only three times in ten are hailed as heroes. But miss that mark and one is relegated to the forgotten. Carl Furillo, who played his whole career with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers achieved a career batting average of .29942 which meant he was one hit short of being a career 300 hitter and obtaining the Holy Grail. For most people, even fans, Carl Furillo, is long forgotten and rarely ever remembered. In metaphorical contrast, Peter has three chances to acknowledge Jesus at a crucial point in time and three times he swings and misses. Peter is batting not just below the ignoble “Mendoza Line” (.200) but he is batting zero. He is a total failure.
But in one of the greatest “turn arounds” in history Peter is restored and takes the Good News of Jesus Christ to thousands in person and to millions by written word and testimony. One might say this is not for me. It’s only for superstars and Hollywood movies. This is the truth; Jesus Christ died and rose again from the grave once and for all. If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead you will be saved and in relationship with the almighty God. And we must have faith that in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. You may be batting below the Mendoza Line in life but when you get connected with God through Jesus Christ you are restored and your name is written in the hall of fame.
Come this weekend to GateWay and celebrate Easter with us.