Defining moments in sporting events are critical. During the 2016 World Series, the Cubs and Indians played a classic series that led to something no one ever thought possible–the Cubs won the World Series. As a lifelong Cubs fan, I had endured 32 years of disappointment and jokes directed toward the “lovable losers” of baseball. But 2016 was different. A team filled with young talent and wise leadership made the most of their opportunity and took charge of the moment at hand.
When Game 7 began, the Cubs opened the game with a lead off home run by Dexter Fowler. Later in the game, the old veteran David Ross cracked a home run. As big as those two moments were, they were not the defining moments of the game. No, the defining moment of the game came not because of a stellar play on the field, but instead, when the rain began to fall after the 9th inning ended with the game tied 6-6. I truly believe that the Indians would have won the World Series had that rain delay not happened. What was the defining moment? During the rain delay, another veteran who had struggled with his bat during the entire postseason, Jason Heyward entered the locker room with his Cub teammates and delivered and impassioned speech that reminded the team of who they were and what was on the line in that game. He appealed to the team’s sense of purpose and talent. He reminded them that they had what it took to finish the game and end a 108 drought for the “lovable losers”.
When the game resumed around 20 minutes later, the Cubs came out and scored two runs in the 10th and held on to win the series 8-7 over the Indians.
The defining moment of the World Series was a speech during a rain delay from a struggling veteran. Incredible.
As we live our lives, we have defining moments. These moments are important for us as we attempt to navigate this life of faith. On Sunday mornings at Homewood CPC, we have opportunities to come to church and hear a message from God’s Holy Word reminding us of who we are, who God is, and what God has done for us and called us to.
The sermon each and every week hopefully provides each of us with the truth of Jesus Christ in order for us to finish well. Paul often times refers to life as a race, and he encourages us all to finish well. If we want to finish this life well, we must focus upon Christ and his call for all our lives. Any person who stands in the pulpit at Homewood CPC is aware of the importance of the centrality of the defining moment in all of creation. This defining moment is Jesus Christ. How do we respond to him?
I think I can speak for both Sherrad and myself here, but we know and understand that every sermon cannot be “the greatest sermon ever preached”. We wrestle and struggle each week with obediently proclaiming the Gospel to a community of faith in an imperfect world. Through all our weaknesses and limitations, we always strive to proclaim the only thing worth proclaiming–Jesus Christ and him crucified. As a result of that truth, we hope to lead and equip the members of HCPC in the faithful execution of Christ’s commands. We are called to love one another more and more.
We are called to share the love of Christ with all we meet. We are called to worship and know our place in this world. And we are called to trust in Christ alone for our salvation, our purpose, our strength, and our all.
What will we do with the defining moments on Sundays? Only you can answer that question.