First Reading: Malachi 4:1-2a
1See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2aBut for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.
I am adding additional verses for us today.
"I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
1 Peter 2:9
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
What is your walk-up song? Do you have one?
Over the past few years, baseball players have been given the opportunity to pick a song that is played when they come up to bat in their home ballpark. It’s called the walk-up song.
These walk-up songs are considered an opportunity to pump up the player and get them ready to take their turn at bat.
You may have heard about this when our Guardians were in the play-offs. Sports Illustrated reported on this: “Oscar González has been one of the Guardians’ biggest surprises of the season, and he’s been making an impression with an unique walk-up song. Right before he sets up to hit, the rookie outfielder uses the theme song to SpongeBob SquarePants. As for why this was his choice, González wanted his walk-up song to represent the fact that he is just playing a game. Therefore, he chose the theme song to one of the more popular kids television shows in the country. “Because kids love that song and this is a kid’s game after all,” he said. “I’ve had it since Triple A.”
I remember a player for the Detroit Tigers who was having an especially bad season who said that there was a song that had a negative effect on his game, and that when he heard it, it was like bad luck. His game that day would fall apart.
The song? The National Anthem!
He was sent to the minors soon after that.
Maybe we should have that for pastors as they go up to the pulpit? Just a thought….
What is your walk-up song? What inspires you to get up and go?
For the readings today, I have listed some Bible verses that I believe could serve the same purpose as a walk-up song. These are just a few of the Bible verses used the Affirmation of Baptism (Confirmation) services that are given specifically to the confirmand as their confirmation verse.
I have taken time to pick a verse for each confirmand. That verse is read as the confirmand is confirmed. It is placed on their certificate. It will go with them forever.
In one of my previous churches, I was thankful that some of the previous pastors had included those verses in the congregation’s records. There were several funerals that I was able to find the Bible verse given at that person’s confirmation decades before.
So what is your walk-up verse? What carries you and inspires you?
Don’t have one? Keep your eyes and ears open. For “…faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
Let us pray:
Almighty God, your word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. May this word carry us today and give us hope for the days to come. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen