Obviously, in the light of my previous post, there is great joy in Mudville...er, St. Louis, because our Cardinals made it past the National League's empire of "evil" and into the World Series with their 17th NL Pennant (all teams from New York bear this character for me--especially the Knicks, but that is a different story from a different season). As this blog makes plain, the Cardinals have a much better shot at winning this thing than most pundits give them.
It is at this time of year that I'm thankful that Pete Enns (who is still a friend though he embraces one of the teams representing the aforementioned axis of evil) wrote this piece for ByFaith magazine. Pete reminds us well, I think, that the joy we take when our sports teams do well is a reflection of the joy we (ought to) take when God's Kingdom advances. Regardless whether the Cards win or lose against the Tigers over the next week, I know that I'm on a team that has already won the ultimate victory because our captain appeared to lose, only to be vindicated before the world as the one really won, the one who triumphed over the devil and won the spoils of battle. And this team will continue to advance against the gates of hell until the end of the age (Matthew 16:18-19).
Or to put it into the language of Colossians and Ephesians: "He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:15) and "Therefore it is said, 'when he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people'" (Ephesians 4:7). Thanks be to God that he made us to be victors and conquerers in Jesus Christ and that he gave us a joy that we will never lose.
Not even if our favorite baseball teams do...