Last night the Cubs clinched the National Central Division!
No one was surprised. The Cubs currently have a 17 game lead over the second place Cardinals, and have been the best team in baseball all year long. For the next two weeks the Cubs will play essentially meaningless games as they wait for the playoffs.
But for most people, this season won’t mean anything if they don’t win in the playoffs.
The first step will be winning the best of five Division Series against the winner of the one game Wild Card play-off between the Giants, Mets, or Cardinals. Yet, if they win this, there will still be more games to win.
Winning the Division Series means they will move on the best of seven League Championship Series. This series will most likely be against the winner of the Los Angels Dodgers and Washington Nationals. Winning would give the Cubs their first National League Championship since 1945! Yet, if they win this, there will still be more games to win.
The World Series. The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. Ever since 1908, Cubs fans have said, “Wait Till Next Year.” If the Cubs can win this best of seven series against the American League representative, this town will go crazy! If they don’t win this, “There’s Always Next Year”.
But even if they win, come April of next year, they will have to start winning all over again.
In every sport, wining the Championship is only good for a year. The next year, you start all over, with no guarantees. In truth, most seasons end in disappointment.
We live in a world that measures success by your latest victory. But victories are temporary.
In Christ, we have a victory that is once and for all. In Christ, all our strivings come to an end. In Christ, “The Victor”, the effect of sin in our lives is defeated - forever! There are no more games to be played. There is no “last year’s champion”.
The best part of this Christ’s victory is that he invites us into the winner's circle with him. He invites us to celebrate his victory not as fans, but to participate in the victory as redeemed and beloved children and members of the family of God.
What would it mean for us to start living our daily lives as people who know that their victory is already assured, because it is already accomplished?
Even better, what would it be like for us to invite others into into the winner’s circle as well? Thankfully, there is always room for more on Christ’s “bandwagon”.
Celebrating Real Victory!