I got you last

Tonight, Monday June 30th, marks the first time the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays play since their infamous brawl a few weeks back. To make matters worse, Coco Crisp, who started the whole fracas, appealed his suspension and had it reduced from 7 games to 5 games. While a Rays player who was barely involved in the incident, received a 3 games suspension losing his appeal. Not really sure how that works.

Crisp will be serving his suspension, and wisely so, during this series. MLB has sent extra security to the game to stop any extra curricular activity. It should be fun to watch.

Adding fuel to the fire is a quote from one of the Boston pitchers: “Payback is a b%$*%.”

A few things. While sometimes I think it would be cool to be a professional athlete, I’m not sure I would be able to keep my cool and honor Christ in times such as these. I know my wife would attest. So I’m glad I’m not a professional baseball player. Or basketball, or football player for that matter. It would be harder in those more contact sports.

Another thing is simply a question: when will it end? I would have thought that an all out team fight would have ended the bad blood. But it certainly hasn’t. These teams will be hating each other for years. While it does make for exciting baseball (drama always does, though this is more like an action film), it does raise a question: when will bad blood end? What will it take?

The Jews and Palestinians will never not have bad blood. Neither will other violent racist groups. Forgiveness really can’t happen without some sort of payment; and neither side can afford to pay it. It’s a perennial “I got you last” game. No one likes to be hit last. We can’t leave it at that. Unless there is an atoning sacrifice.

And Paul believes that sacrifice has a racial and relational component, writing “for he himself is our peace, who has made us (Jews and Gentiles) both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility….” So if Christ is the common ground, there is hope because He has paid the price. He was the one who was “hit last.” And so the “I got you last game” can end. If only more Christians believed that.

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