I need to share with you how excited I am. How anxious I am. How amazed I am. Why? Because something is happening tonight, Tuesday October 21st, that has not happened in nearly three decades. My favorite baseball team, the Kansas City Royals, are playing in the World Series. I have, as all Royals fans have, endured twenty-nine years of losing seasons, jokes about Kansas City being the best minor league team around, and Kansas City, after losing a few games in the first weeks of the season, has already been eliminated from the playoffs. All of these jokes and many more have plagued all Royals fans while we cheer for our beloved team. And now I can say, with a deep joy and excitement, the Royals are in the World Series!
Granted, I didn’t expect to ever say that phrase again, that’s a discussion piece for another day. For now I will, as all who cheer for the KC Royals, cherish this moment and ride this train. As electrified as I am about tonight’s game and the Series, this team has reminded me of some powerful truths.
First: A good team, with great leadership and commitment, can achieve amazing success. Yes, the Royals are good, they would not have gotten this far otherwise, but they have very little big-name talent. They rely on the team, working as one unit to succeed. What can we learn from this?
If we are willing to work together, we can accomplish great things, regardless of what hurdles we have. Working together, leaning on each other, lifting each other up, depending on our strong leadership, and we will move mountains and make history.
By the way, I will give a ten dollar gift card to the first person who can tell me who was the MVP of the 1985 World Series, the last time the Royals were in the Series and won it.
Second: A team does not need to have the highest salaries to win nor does a team need to hit the most home runs to win. Kansas City ranked last in home runs in the American League, and they still made it this far. How? By stealing bases and pitching line-up that is unmatched in what they have achieved. Their success depends on all of the parts working together as one beautiful whole and they did it without paying the highest paid players. They, the Royals, rank 18th out of 30 teams, for salaries paid. Other teams pay the best talent and reap the rewards. KC makes the most of what it has and reached higher than the rest.
What can we glean from this? Again working together, all of our parts creating one amazing whole by doing what we can with what we have and we will ascend to new heights. We will make a difference, a significant difference, if we learn to look beyond dollar signs and see the beauty and the possibilities from within. We can, like the Royals, create a story so electrifying and magnetic that people flock from all over to not only hear our stories but to join us on the journey.
You see, sisters and brothers, the greatest benefit to living together, as one body, fulfilling our mission and changing the world is this: people will come and want to experience the power within us. The Royals are selling out, as they should, because they have done what many thought impossible. And when we continue to do the work God called us to, when we join with each other, honor each other, as Jesus commanded us to, and when we walk by faith and not by the fear of what might happen, as the Spirit invites us to, then we will write new and amazing chapters in the ongoing saga that is the McPherson Church of the Brethren.
Go Royals! And lets go sisters and brothers! The world is waiting for us to make it a better place. Amen.
Jerry Bowen, Pastor with Youth, Young Adults, and Families Emphasis