Bottom of the 9th - Well-Coached #5, Grace & Mercy
Well-Coached Series #5, Grace and Mercy
by Keith Wahl
â€œBut if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.â€ (Romans 11:6)
We often use the word â€œtranscendâ€ to describe the greatest moments in baseball history. My favorite simple definition of the word â€œtranscendâ€ is this - â€œto go beyond the range or limits of.â€For me, Will Clarkâ€™s performance in the 1989 National League Championship Series transcended everything I knew possible in the game at the time. He was my favorite player - chosen by a sweet swing and a birthday in common (March 13) - and he absolutely blew my mind as a 15-year-old fan of the game with his performance. Clark
(included in that performance is the alleged beginning of a now commonly accepted practice, the pitcher and catcher covering their mouths during a mound visit -
). Clark would finish the five-game domination of the Cubs with a batting average of .650 (13 hits in 20 at bats), eight RBI, and an unworldly OPS of 1.882. He dominated the series.Last week, I had the pleasure of experiencing the David Crowder Band perform worship and it was transcendent. Great worship leaders also have the ability to transcend by moving our emotions through sounds and word images of a God greater than the one we construct in our minds. Read some of Crowderâ€™s lyrics below and soak in his picture of grace and mercy:
â€œHe is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercyâ€¦â€ (lyrics from â€œHow He Lovesâ€)
â€œDrawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.â€ (lyrics from â€œHow He Lovesâ€)
â€œThere's no space that His love can't reach There's no place where we can't find peace There's no end to Amazing Grace Take me in with your arms spread wide Take me in like an orphan child Never let go, never leave my side.â€ (lyrics from â€œI Amâ€)
Crowder sings of Jesus Christ, He who transcended the ideas of grace and mercy provided by the religious leaders of the time. Christ offered us a different picture of life lived through grace and mercy, the same things offered to us by an all-powerful God. Christ, â€œâ€¦though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poorâ€ (2 Corinthians 8:9), gave up everything for us - both in heaven and on earth. He gave up the riches of heaven and His life on the earth to provide us with an example of the depth of grace and mercy possible by an all-loving God. He provided us with the foundation of a faith based on the gift of grace and not works.
These thoughts of grace and mercy are transcendent and even difficult to understand, let alone master. As humans, we tend to stray from grace and mercy, and gravitate towards that which we can understand - works. But only by loving others in the ocean of grace and the wind of mercy can we transcend this world, going beyond the range and limits of this present existence.
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