Imagine you are playing kickball with Jesus. (Yea, I know it’s weird…just go with it). Before the game begins, the team captains must pick teams. Of course, Jesus is one of the team captains. During the first round of selections, the other team captain picks the fastest runner from the lineup of players. Jesus goes next, selecting the kid with his shoes on the wrong feet. Next, the other team captain chooses the strongest player from the lineup. Jesus follows this selection by picking you.
But, wait! You’re not in the lineup of players anymore! You are off in the bathroom throwing up because you are so nervous to play in this kickball game with the King of Kings. Well, Jesus chooses you anyway and you are on his team.
Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Jesus plays kickball. But it does say that Jesus chooses people to be on his team: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide…” (John 15:16a). In the waters of baptism, you were assigned to Jesus and his team. Because you now bear the name of the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – you are assigned to Jesus. Through faith in Jesus, his life, death, and resurrection are now part of your story.
Yet, it’s not your abilities or accolades that earn you a spot on the team. It is not because you are the best, the brightest, or the bravest. Rather, Scripture tells us: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) In other words, while you were nervously throwing up in the bathroom and showing no sign of competency, Jesus selected you to be with him. Though you had no confidence of your own, Christ had confidence enough for the both of you.
Secure in the steadfast love of Jesus, you can lean into the adventure of life with his humble confidence. What does tomorrow bring? What if I swing and miss on life? What if it’s more than I can take? God has got you. Jesus is with you. The Holy Spirit is in you. Flooded with the promises of God in baptism, you can step up to the plate and take part in the adventure of life because you are a baptized child of God assigned to Jesus.
Whether you make it on base or not, God has declared you ‘Safe!’ in Christ Jesus. This is not our own doing so we are humble and do not boast (Ephesians 2:9). Yet, we have confidence because our baptismal identity is founded on God’s unbreakable promises. And, so, in Christ Jesus we have a humble confidence that is not our own, but rather the gift of God.
Step up to the plate. Take a swing at the challenges of life. Whether you knock it out of the park or knock yourself over in the process, Jesus has promised that in him you are safe.