Last Wednesday was one of the best days of baseball in recent history, with a quadruple-header of postseason action featuring two elimination games. To add spice to the day, two of the games (Yankees-Orioles and Tigers-A’s) had exciting, come-from-behind finishes, allowing the Yanks to take the lead in their series, while the A’s were able to snatch a late victory to live to fight another day. When Yankee’s manager Joe Girardi pulled superstar third-baseman Alex Rodriguez for a pinch hitter, it created huge buzz. But when pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez delivered in the clutch, the New York skipper looked like a genius. On the left coast, when Detroit closer Jose Valverde took the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning, he had a chance to close out the game and the series—but Seth Smith and Coco Crisp took care of that, delivering game-tying and game-winning hits to send the series to a climactic game five. Unbelievable pressure with a lot at stake adds up to extraordinary drama, and the baseball playoffs delivered that in a big way last Wednesday. The greatest drama of all time, however, has nothing to do with sports of any kind. It is the drama of God reaching out to His lost and broken creation to bring help and hope by providing forgiveness and eternal life through His Son. From the drama of an angelic announcement of the birth of God’s Son in human flesh, to the drama of a life lived to perfection, to the drama of miraculous power and divine compassion displaying the heart of the Father, to the drama of the passion—when Christ died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead to secure eternal life—the greatest drama of all time is wrapped up in, arguably, the Bible’s most beloved verse and the verse that follows it:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

It is the extraordinary drama of the love of the heavenly Father for you. I trust that you have received that love and know Him.   Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain