Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 16, 2018

"He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God."  John 1:10-13

It was April 15, 1947 that Jackie Robinson ran to his position at first base with the rest of his Brooklyn Dodger team mates. While they were greeted by cheers, he heard jeers and boos and racial slurs. That historic moment 66 years ago changed the course of Major League baseball forever. But the first black man to play in the modern era of Major League Baseball was forced to endure threats, humiliation and in order to fulfill his dream.

On May 13, 1947, during Brooklyn Dodger infield practice at Crosley Field, Cincinnati, Pee Wee Reese, the Dodger shortstop and captain, suddenly stopped the practice. He walked diagonally across the infield and placed his left arm around the shoulder of Jackie Robinson, who was playing first base. 

He looked into the Cincinnati dugout and the grandstands beyond. Ballplayers and fans had been taunting Robinson with terms like ''shoeshine boy'' and ''snowflake.'' Reese, a slim white Southerner who wore No. 1, kept an arm draped in friendship around the sturdy black man who wore No. 42. 

Reese did not say a word. But his look shamed the racists into silence. ''After Pee Wee came over like that,'' Robinson told me years later, ''I never felt alone on a baseball field again.''

Jackie Robinson belonged in a major league baseball uniform. He was one of all-time greats as evidenced by these career stats: 137 HR, .311 BA, 734 RBI, 2B/3B/1B, inducted into Hall Of Fame in 1962, 1949 NL MVP, 1947 ML Rookie of the Year, 6 x All Star, Dodgers 1947-1956

But the prejudice against his skin color kept him from showcasing his talents until well-respected men, Dodger general manager, Branch Rickey and popular teammate, Pee Wee Reese risked their reputations to help him find acceptance.

Incidentally, Branch Rickey was a devoted Christian. I encourage you to go see the inspiring movie "42" that tells this story.

In the same way, Jesus left Heaven where He was loved, accepted, worshiped and adored in order to face a rejection much worse than that endured by Jackie Robinson. And He did it to make it possible for you to overcome the barrier that kept you out of Heaven - your sin.

Jesus longs to come beside you and place His arm around you and declare you ACCEPTED. Will you believe in Him? Will you accept Him in order to be accepted?