Wally Pipp

25 Jun

A post from several years ago about pointing others to Christ.

7He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” 15As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. Luke 3:7-18

Walter Clement Pipp, born February 17, 1893 in Chicago IL. and passing from this life on January 11, 1965 in Grand Rapids MI., made his major league baseball debut on June 29, 1913 at the age of 20, for the Detroit Tigers. He only played in 12 games that season, before being sent back to the minors. He then resurfaced with the New York Yankees in 1915 and quickly developed into a star. His 12 homeruns in 1916 were a record, until Babe Ruth came along. He flourished at the plate and as a defensive first basemen for the Yankees. In 1924, he had a career high,114 runs batted in and 19 triples. Most of you; except for some diehard Yankee fans and baseball historians, have probably never heard of Wally Pipp. On June 2, 1925, Mr. Pipp had a headache and asked his manager to sit out the game. The Yankees manager, Miller Huggins, inserted a young prospect named Lou Gehrig into the lineup. Mr. Gehrig went on to start a long-standing record 2,180 straight games (the record was broken by Cal Ripken in 1995). That is why most of you have never heard of Mr. Pipp.

John the Baptist makes me think of Wally Pipp. I love what John says in this sermon. He has some amazing points about living the Christian faith. Yet I cannot remember single sermon in the almost fifteen hundred Sundays in my lifetime focusing on what John said here! Why is that? Why do we not extol these principles? John the Baptist was adamant that He was not the central figure, instead he continually pointed to Jesus as the focus for our attention. He did not want to be the one who was to be remembered; he knew Jesus was greater. I have a friend that likes to say, “you recognize quality when you see it”. This describes John the Baptist. He recognized the greatness of Christ.

Today I urge you to do the same. Let Jesus be central. Leave His footprints by deferring to Him.

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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Bible, Culture, Life


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