If you are a fan of baseball and the Cardinals at all, you know by now that Albert Pujols won the Most Valuable Player award in the National League, with a unanimous first place vote by the baseball writers. We celebrate his abilities, and enjoy his natural gifts. But as a follower of Jesus, I also respect his faith in Jesus and how open he is to share.
We always need to be careful about putting people with celebrity on a pedestal, and placing too much trust in their faith. On the other hand, when guys like Pujols and Kurt Warner demonstrate a strong faith in Jesus, with their words, but especially with the way they care for the poor and get involved in missional causes, it does give me great respect.
Last week I attended an event informing pastors of an emphasis called Advent Conspiracy. We will be participating in this during the Christmas season. Pujols attended the event, and talked about his faith and about the Pujols foundation. With his foundation, he has chosen to impact lives in two directions. First, he is caring for people with down syndrome and their families. Second, he is helping the poor and sharing the Gospel in his home country, the Dominican Republic. As he shared at the event, the St. Louis Post Dispatch did a video story on what he said about the true meaning of Christmas, his “real job” and the opportunity to make a difference in the world for the name of Jesus. If you hadn’t seen it yet, it is worth the watch. And, like all Cards fans, I am thrilled that he is the MVP. But it excited me even more that he is this kind of person.