Stay Seated!

baseball riot

TheDiscipleMD

The Baltimore Washington Area has a rich history of professional sports. It also has a history of breaking fans’ hearts when owners have decided to leave town with our teams. The Colts were taken from us and, two times, the Senators left town for greener pastures. My teenage brother and some of his friends were in attendance on the historic day in 1971 when the Senators played their last home game. During that game, mayhem ensued when, with two outs in the top of the ninth, the fans spilled out onto the field forcing the Senators to forfeit the game. My brother and his friends were among those who ran onto the field. My brother managed to wrestle away from others the home run sign from left field which was metal and read “369”, meaning 369 feet to the fence from home plate. My brother was proud of his historic souvenir and gloated all the way home from the stadium. He was so proud that, upon arriving home late that night, he burst into my parent’s bedroom to showcase to them his new possession. After enthusiastically explaining the background of the sign and happily telling my parents the wonderful story, my father declared, “But son, isn’t that stealing?” In that moment, the countenance of my brother’s face changed and he realized that my Dad was right. Caught up in the emotion of the moment, he had done something that he would normally not ever have considered!

My brother is not just one of the good ones the Lord put here on earth, he is one of the best. But, many of the “best” have been caught up in a moment or swept up with the crowd in doing or participating in something they would not normally do. Sometimes, as followers of Christ, we are tempted to leave our seats of order and frolic across the field of “Babylon.” In an intense moment of peer pressure, we might be tempted to leave the safety of the stands and run across the “field of play” where all the “fun” is happening. This is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ! We have been commanded to be in the world but not of the world.

When we are tempted to break the Sabbath, we need to “stay seated.” When we are tempted to break the Law of Chastity, we need to “stay seated.” When we are tempted to lie or bear false witness: “Stay Seated.” And even though in most states we are encouraged to gamble by our own government through the lottery or by other means, we need to “stay seated.” And even though stealing by men and women of power and influence is reported daily, coveting is rampant, using the name of the Lord in vain and indeed all manner of wickedness abounds; we need to “stay seated.”

“Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence… And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?…Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5: 25-30).

Let us be as Peter. Let us be faithful and obey God rather than man! Let us “Stay Seated” and not join in with the “ungodly” crowd that has taken over the “field of play.” Unlike the Senators, it won’t be just a baseball game that will get forfeited. For us, we might end up forfeiting our eternal families or our eternal souls!

 

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