When the Chicago Cubs last won a World Series, Theodore Roosevelt was president. What has happened since?
- Radio and television were invented.
- Women won the right to vote.
- The National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, and National Football League were created.
- Major League Baseball added fourteen teams.
- The New York Yankees won seventeen world championships.
- The Soviet Union came and went.
- Sixteen US presidents were elected.
- Eleven amendments were added to the US Constitution.
- The Titanic was built, set sail, sank, and was discovered.
- The price of gasoline rose 1,400 percent.
- Chicago’s Wrigley Field was born and became the oldest park in the National League.
- The computer, cell phone, digital photography, microwave ovens, remote controls, polio vaccine, laser beam, super glue, Velcro, satellites, video games, cordless tools, GPS, ATM, the MRI, the MP3, the VCR, the DVD, and the Internet were invented.
- Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and New Mexico were admitted to the Union.
Across 108 years, the Cubs have been famous for never winning the “big one.” When they went down three games to one in this year’s World Series, their fans had to be wondering if they would ever win a championship. When they blew a three-run lead late in last night’s Game 7, their fans had to be even more discouraged. Their team’s victory in the tenth inning was indeed one for the ages.
This year’s terrific World Series has been a welcome respite from the vitriol of the presidential campaign and the general negativity of our day. But I think there’s something more to the Cubs’ victory: they are a team of good players who play great baseball together. Their team unity is their greatest strength.
It’s not surprising that we are drawn to their story. We are a nation of immigrants committed to the belief that all people are created equal, a classless society that offers opportunity to those willing to pay the price to succeed. We have much further to go in making such opportunity a reality for people of every race and socioeconomic background. But we have never stopped trying to live up to our credo of equality for all, a fact that proves the enduring value of our founding promise.
I believe that the Christian commitment to the sanctity of every life is at the heart of this promise. Christianity offers a personal relationship with God to every human being regardless of past failures, present challenges, or future limitations. All other religions require a work ethic founded on legalistic expectations. Only Jesus makes the way to heaven available to anyone who simply trusts in him. Only Christianity can say, “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Ben Zobrist, the Dallas Baptist University graduate who was named World Series Most Valuable Player, uses his platform to make clear his faith whenever he can. His message is simple: “Grace is for everyone. We all need grace. We all need Christ.”
That’s a message that will be relevant 108 years and 108 centuries from today.