The bottom of the 9th is the last half-inning of a baseball game and only occurs when the home team is behind. It’s their last chance to tie up the game or win it outright. As tense as the bottom of the 9th can be, and no matter how far behind your team is, there is always hope. After all, it’s not over until the last out.
As difficult as bottom of the 9th moments can be in baseball, they are even more challenging in life. Especially when it feels like there’s no way you can get caught up, let alone feel like you are in control or winning. But as writer Anne Lamott says, “Grace bats last.”
Whether you are a baseball fan or not, you will want to join us for this powerful series based on a concept developed by the team at North Point Christian Church in Atlanta.
We’ve created a discussion guide for group or individual use that you can download here: Bottom of the 9th Discussion Guide
This worship and small group series begins Sunday, October 10.
Scripture – Matthew 19:16-30; 1 Peter 1:3-9
While the feeling of hopelessness that comes when you are far behind in a ballgame is no fun, it’s even less fun when you feel like you are falling behind in the game of life. There are those moments when things are spiraling out of control and it feels like there’s no way you can get caught up, let alone feel like you are in control or winning.
Having faith may not solve every one of life’s challenges, but holding on to faith and one another can help us weather the storm. Even when the score is 2-0 in the bottom of the 9th.
Scriptures – Joshua 3-4
No matter what we are facing in life, our faith promises that we have hope. As Christians, we’ve heard this promise repeatedly, but sometimes the things we face in life make hope seem like a distant reality.
Just before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, God asked them to do something that likely seemed odd at the time but would serve as a constant reminder of the hope they had in God. The good news is that we can do the same thing. If only we will remember.
Scriptures – Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26
Life is a team sport, especially if you call yourself a Christ follower. We don’t get to walk through life as if it is all about us. We are called to be a body – and sometimes that means caring for others who are hurting or in need.
If you’ve ever been carried by others through a difficult time, you know the power of that kind of care. If you’ve ever helped carry someone through a difficult time, you know that no matter how heavy the lifting may have been, it was worth every ounce of effort to see your friend or loved one find some hope in the middle of their moment of struggle and hurt. This week’s message is all about being a better teammate to others in the game of life.
Scripture – Acts 6-8; Romans 8:31-37
Sometimes in sports the game doesn’t go your way, no matter how hard your team tried or how much hope you had. As hard as those moments are, they are nothing compared to some of the losses we experience in life.
No matter how much faith we have, there is no guarantee we will win everything in the game of life. Sometimes we will experience loss. Our faith carries a promise that even in those moments all is not lost. In fact, it is in those moments that we might just find the greatest hope ever known.
Series title art, video, and title used with permission from North Point Ministries.