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Hope, renewal, and Opening Day

This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray.
It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again.
Oh…people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
–Terence Mann played by James Earl Jones, Field of Dreams

There is something beautiful about Opening Day.

Every team in baseball is in first place. The same 162 games lie before each of them. Last year’s results are a distant memory. Everything is new, and right, and possible. If the starters stay healthy… If the bullpen doesn’t have to be overused… If that rookie plays up to his potential and that veteran we traded for has one more good year in him… If things fall just right… this year is our year.

On Opening Day, there is hope and renewal.

Money they have and peace they lack

In his beautiful baritone James Earl Jones as Terence Mann in Field of Dreams gives voice to this hope.

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There is a line in his monologue that speaks to me in new ways on April 2, 2017.

Mann tells Kinsella that those who will come, will be willing to pay to have a look around. “They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it,” he says, “for it is money they have and peace they lack.”

Reading my social media feeds, I am convinced that peace is in short supply these days. Many of us are anxious, angry, and agitated. We need hope. We long for renewal.

Mets "Ya gotta believe!" bumper sticker
As a Mets fan, “Ya gotta believe!” Photo by slgckgc, courtesy

I love baseball. I’m hopeful my Mets will be playing meaningful games long into the fall. If everything falls right, this year will be our year. As we Mets fans say, “Ya gotta believe.”

But I’m not naive. It’s just a game.

As a Christian, however, I believe that hope is real. I hold onto the hope that God is making all things new—me, you, and the world around us. In that hope, I know that God is calling us to participate in his renewal project, not just to buy a seat along the baseline and watch. For it is in participating in God’s renewal of the world that we find peace.

On Opening Day, baseball reminds me of “all that once was good and could be again,” on and off the diamond.

So, play ball!

And let’s go Mets!


  1. Judy Keller
    Judy Keller April 1, 2017

    Yes, Joe, you are so right. There’s always hope and that is what keeps us going. Thanks be to God! Go Rockies!⚾️✝️

  2. Bruce Fritzsche
    Bruce Fritzsche April 4, 2017

    Well said Joe!!! Take me out to the ball park…..

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