This past week witnessed opening day baseball around the US. In a news opinion, Britt McHenry who works for a local news channel in Washington, DC and was a reporter for ESPN for 4 years writes these words, “On Major League Baseball’s opening day Thursday, hope springs eternal across the country. Even as Chicago Cubs fans shiver in their puffy blue jackets, New York Yankees fans rub their hands together in the Bronx, and millions of baseball fans search box scores at work, a unity among people from all backgrounds not only exists, it flourishes. So does patriotism. The “Star-Spangled Banner” actually debuted in the sports world thanks to baseball. In 1918 during Game 1 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs, Babe Ruth – a man who would become arguably the most iconic home run hitter – and his teammates first sang along to the national anthem. The Cubs followed suit, and the pageantry quickly spread to every team across the league. Appropriately, baseball earned the nickname “America’s Pastime.”
Her words made me think about the sacrifices those before us made for the freedom of this country and how our patriotic duty is to celebrate those that came before us and how our national anthem honors the country. This year was also the witness of the National Anthem protests in the NFL which brought to mind the word submission. Although it’s acceptable to bring an issue to the forefront, should we, as Christians protest in a way that violates our heritage and brings dishonor to our country? This answer is probably not. In fact, God’s word implores us to be in submission to those in authority over us. The time-honored tradition of playing our National Anthem at sporting events is a way we can honor our country and show our support (submission). It gets really difficult from here, though.
Romans 13:1-2 states; “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” Whoever is in authority over us has been put there by God. We are to be in submission to them UNLESS we are asked to do something in violation of God’s Word.
Whether it’s our pastor, our boss, or the commissioner of baseball or football, we are to submit to their authority. Isn’t it refreshing to see baseball players in all the stadiums this past week honoring our country’s tradition, standing, removing their hats and placing them over their hearts? What an example of submission! The last line of the Star Spangled Banner says it all. “O, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave. O’er the land of free and the home of the brave.” Next time you are at a baseball game or meet a baseball player thank him/her for honoring our country. Baseball truly is America’s Pastime. Enjoy the season! “Go Giants!” (sorry, I couldn’t resist)