God Briefly
by Reverend Daniel England

May 10, 2018

I was watching the Yankees play the Red Sox last night. I like baseball, in part, because it is interesting even when it isn't thrilling. It's especially interesting to be at the Stadium because there is so much going on as players shift their positions or get ready to steal a base or a fan in the crowd makes a particularly fine bare-handed catch.
But as I was sitting there watching the game unfold on TV, which is broadcast with the same boring formula it has been for years - always showing the pitcher from behind, never showing a foul ball being caught, rarely catching the expression of a worried manager - I was thinking how much more interesting
it is to be there. And then it struck me. What am I seeing in shot after shot just over the catchers shoulder? Many, I mean many, of the high-priced box seats,
the ones that look like first class Club Chairs on British Airways, are empty.
Now they're not sitting there vacant because the guy who has the ticket has
gone for a hot dog because those seats come with valet service. No, they're empty because the possessor of the seat's season ticket couldn't or decided,
for whatever reason, not to make the game even if it was Yankees vs. Boston.
It's his ticket so...
Okay, so I'm sure the guy is very important and probably well-off financially.
But here's the thing. If you had one or four of those seats, and you couldn't
show up, wouldn't you give them away to someone you know who would be thrilled to see a game from the "good seats?" I guess I can see why you may
not give them to someone who might try to sell them or someone who might
act inappropriately - yes there is decorum at games, still. But really? You don't know anyone who wouldn't be appreciative of such a gift and spend the rest of his or her life telling people about the day "I sat down there?"
Generosity of spirit is not a matter of money; it is a matter of heart. We have experienced God's generosity who "gave his only begotten son" so that we
might know the depth and power of God's love for the humanity he created.
How then can we be stingy or mean spirited or walk around with a closed hand? Oh, we all do it from time to time, but then someone is nice to us and we repent and resolve to be a better person the next day.
I don't know. A friend of mine once gave my son and his friend a couple of
tickets to a Yankee game. It turned out they were the only two in a skybox and they had a ball. They still talk about it. Oh, I know baseball isn't all that thrilling. But generosity is.

Reverend Daniel England
Interim Senior Minister
The First Congregational Church of Ridgefield, Connecticut