Image: Teams gathering on the field for opening ceremonies at CC (4.6.19)
Baseball season has arrived. Opening Ceremonies were held yesterday (4.6.19) at Cove Creek park, where my family has been playing ball for over fifteen years. This is my fifth consecutive year as head coach of the Cove Creek Major League Pirates. (11-12 year olds). There is something special about this last step before moving on to the "big field."
Cove Creek benefactor and commissioner John Grisham missed opening ceremonies this year to be in Minneapolis for UVA’s final four appearance.
The Pirates lost our morning opener 4-0 to the A’s, but the team looked good.
Opening ceremonies always begin with an opening prayer (great thing about a private park is that you can still have public prayer) and the national anthem. I’ve given the opening prayer several times over the past years and was honored to be asked to do so again this year. Here was the prayer I offered yesterday:
Gracious and loving God,
Today we can say with the Psalmist, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof: the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).
We give you thanks for your creation, for giving to us healthy minds and healthy bodies, and for giving us wholesome recreations to enjoy like baseball.
We ask your blessings, in particular, upon this upcoming season at Cove Creek.
We give you thanks for all the benefactors, staff, officials, and volunteers who will serve here this season.
We thank you for the coaches and parents for their instruction and support. Help us to encourage excellence in competition without being overbearing or unkind. Make us to be circumspect in our criticism and liberal in our praise.
We ask that you would watch over and keep the physical safety of the young men and women who will take the field here. Help them to honor their parents and all those in positions of rightful authority. Help them to strive for excellence in proportion to their abilities, to be fair in competition, encouraging to their teammates, and generous in both victory and defeat.
Help us to remember the command of Christ, first, that we would love you with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and, second, that we would love our neighbor as ourselves.
We ask this in Christ’s name, Amen
Now, play ball!
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