Dodgers Celebrate Faith & Family Day!
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“When I think about Jesus, the first word that comes to mind is hope. He’s my hope! And man, this world can get crazy sometimes,” declared Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher, Clayton Kershaw.
Within the revered baseball sanctuary of Dodger Stadium – a rare post-game Sunday cathedral emerges, with a different pitch delivered by a future Hall of Famer. Before a crowd in the stadium’s seats Kershaw asks, “What anchors you, what gives you hope past this world? For us that’s Jesus. Jesus is our eternal hope.”
Kershaw, a handful of teammates, and manager Dave Roberts, returned the Dodgers Faith and Family event to engaged, devoted participants after a 4-year absence.
Clayton Kershaw: “We’ve had it here for a long time! Once Covid hit we kind of forgot about it and with everything that’s gone on this year as a team it just kind of felt like the best way to show what I stand for and what some of our teammates stand for...is we believe in Jesus and we get to talk about it and we’ve got a cool platform to be able to bring fans out and hear it.”
Dave Roberts: “When you’re managing an organization with different beliefs it’s a tricky, slippery slope trying to respect everyone’s faith and their values. But in this context, we have the opportunity to speak openly and candidly!”
Question: “The team, the organization, you had been a part of the Faith and Family Nights before – Dave, why was it important to bring it back?”
Dave Roberts: “You know I think I’d been a part of it as a player, as a coach and as a manager. I think for us it was important because this world of - inclusivity – I think is important on all fronts, but I also believe that sometimes we get overly criticized because of our Christian beliefs. Our voices need to be heard too so I’m very proud to be a part of this!”
Max Muncy: “This is just an important day, we wanted to bring it back to Dodger Stadium. It‘s been awhile since we had it and what a turnout we’ve had! This is incredible! I don’t think any of us expected this many people to show up.”
And more than just messaging, a genuine, Christ-following life is urged and embraced!
Question: “How do we love with His unconditional love, Dave – in the face of adversity, in the face of opposition or in the face of disagreement?”
Dave Roberts: “I think that’s what it is – it’s love! I was raised to treat everyone with love and respect, and you know we’re not all going to have the same beliefs. But I do trust in my belief and faith and I think at the core of it: to pray for people to love everyone even if we don’t always agree with how we live our lives. But I think my job as a Christian is to continue to treat people with love.”
Evan Phillips: “Yeah, that’s the unique challenge of the world we live in. And I feel like we’ve been given that challenge by our Lord and it’s in a way there’s all this different combativeness coming from different angles and coming from different viewpoints, but I feel like it’s a challenge to each other to continue to encourage to love each other as one’s brother.”
Clayton Kershaw: “We are called as disciples of Jesus to show how He lived his life and try to be the best disciple we can be for Him. Because I think some people will get the wrong reason about what Jesus is. ‘Oh its this exclusive group that judges everybody and that’s not true at all! It’s a choice to follow Jesus and in that way it is exclusive but at the end of the day the way people follow Jesus is to love everyone well.”
Max Muncy: “I think the most important thing is to put ourselves out there among other people. Show them what it truly means to be a Christian and not criticize other people and not to say they’re doing things wrong. But to show them that when you’re a Christian this is what can happen and show what it really, really means to love Jesus.”
Question: “After you hit home runs, you’ll acknowledge Him, you’ll head to the dugout, you’ve got fans there – but now you’ve got them not just as Dodgers fans, you’ve got them as brothers and sisters. Does that give you and the guys a sense of strength?”
Max Muncy: “I think it always does. It’s a family! It’s a family and you know we’re all here on this earth for a purpose and that’s to glorify Jesus and glorify God and to get to do it on this field – it’s a very special thing!”
Question: “Do you find 2023 Christianity is growing more intense, requiring more?”
Clayton Kershaw: “There is a little bit more of a cultural war these days and there’s a lot more people with more opinions with social media about different things. What I don’t like is Christianity gets bled into politics or Christianity gets bled into society or culture. That’s not what it is at all! Jesus is following Jesus and that’s all it is! If anything, it gives you chance to be bold about your faith because its just not understood.”
Question: “How would people pray for you?”
Dave Roberts: “You know I really appreciate that and I think prayer for me is important and people praying for me, and the prayer for me: calmness, stillness, clarity and remain true to who I am – and at the core of who I am is my faith. I manage the Dodgers, that’s my job. It’s not who I am. To not have Jesus Christ to fallback and lean on, I just wouldn’t, I just don’t think I would survive this.”
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