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Faith Focus: When the unexpected happens

My son recently started his second season of baseball. It's the first time anyone on his team has had another child pitch to them, and the first two games have been ... a learning process.

Which brings us to Saturday.

My son came up to bat against a pitcher who was struggling to find the strike zone. True to form, he bounced a pitch about three feet in front of the plate.  My son swung anyway. And hit the ball. It rolled about six feet. That's ... not supposed to happen.

As my son ran to first, the pitcher overthrew first base. That was ... surprising.

My son took off toward second. There was another overthrow. That was ... shocking.

So my son ran toward third. Yet one more overthrow. Like a scene from "The Sandlot," off he shot toward home. By now, all his teammates were standing in the dugout cheering him on, as were the parents in the stands. That was ... unbelievable.

When my son was about halfway to home, the third baseman picked up the ball and tossed it to the catcher, who caught the ball and lowered his glove to tag my son out. But my son's foot was already there. Safe! That was ... unexpected.

He jumped up with his arms raised and ran toward me. I picked him up as he let loose the biggest smile I've ever seen on his face. When he entered the dugout, his teammates mobbed him. Parents were smiling, laughing and high-fiving. If it's possible to have a scene at a Little League game, this was it.

With that in mind, I can only imagine the scene circling the first Easter. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome came to anoint Jesus' body, but when they arrived the stone in front of the tomb had been rolled away. That was ... surprising.

When they entered the tomb, an angel was on the right side. That was, the Bible says, ... shocking.

He tells them: "Don't be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn't here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died." (Mark 16:6-7) That was, the text says, ... frightening and bewildering.

Mark 16:9 says, "Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life."

Christ had defeated death. That was ... unexpected.

He had paid the price for our sins. That was ... remarkable.

Today, we can still celebrate Christ's sacrifice and the difference it has made for all of us. That's a truth that ... needs to be shared this week.

Will you share it?

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