“When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. Jesus said to them, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.’” (John 20:20b-21)
Ok, I confess. I’m impressed… To the dismay of all (including myself), during the off-season the Atlanta Braves traded away most all of their big name players. And by all accounts from baseball “experts,” in return they got, well… a mixture of “has beens” and “newbies,” leaving them with only about 30% of last year’s players left to play on the 2015 team. Then, last Sunday when they traded their franchise star closing-ace Craig Kimbrel to the San Diego Padres, I was sure this signaled the fact that in their attempt to “rebuild” the team from the ground up in anticipation of contending again in perhaps 1-2 years, their front office had given up on them for this year (and maybe it did, for this year).
But despite the pessimism of the “experts” and nay-sayers, as of this writing, this improbable band of “misfits” has gone 4-0 in the first week of play (that’s 4 wins, 0 losses for you non-sports-types) – a very surprising statistic given the two good teams that they’ve played so far! No one (including myself, a lifelong Braves fan) expected them to be doing so well given their “remake” since last year.
Well, on Good Friday 2000 years ago, the world of religious and political “experts” were convinced that Jesus’ death was the end of the magical story of this carpenter-turned-rabbi. Not only was he dead and buried, but all that was left of his “movement” was a mixture of “has beens” and “newbies” who (at least at first) weren’t at all sure of their abilities. But after Jesus’ resurrection, those first Disciples -- like this year’s “new” Braves team so far – confounded the pessimistic expectations and assumptions of the “experts” and nay-sayers, and literally turned the world upside down with the message that Jesus was, indeed, alive!
Yes, it remains to be seen if the Braves can continue their unbelievable momentum the rest of the year (baseball season, after all, lasts a loooong time!) But one thing is sure: they have already proven that they’re “not quite dead,” so don’t count them out yet! In the same manner, the news on that first Easter that Jesus was “not quite dead” propelled the band of misfits we call the “Disciples” to share that good news with the world, and the world has never been the same since! Just as with the Braves, we dare not count out the power of the gospel to transform our world for Jesus Christ.
You and I are the “misfit” messengers of that gospel today. So, what are you doing to share the “improbable” good news of Jesus with those around you? Remember, God loves you and I do, too!