Joe Garagiola died yesterday (Wednesday). He was 90 years old.
I knew him mostly as a color commentator for NBC Baseball’s Game of the Week. The generations before me knew him as a catcher for the Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs and New York Giants.
He made a career out of making people laugh.
“I got traded three times when there were only eight teams in the league. I thought I was modeling uniforms.”
“Not only was I not the best catcher in the major leagues, I wasn’t even the best catcher on my street.”
Joe was devoted to his wife of 67 years, Audrie, whom he maintained was the “best catch I ever made.”
Here’s how he told about his first meeting with Ted Williams: “It was the 1946 World Series, Cardinals-Red Sox. Ted came to bat, and I was in awe. I didn’t know whether to give a signal or get an autograph. The first pitch was a fastball inside. He turned around and said, ‘Joe, that ball was inside.’”
“Yes, sir,” Joe said, “that ball was way inside.”
With that, Joe laughed. He kept us laughing. He left a legacy of laughter.
We’re walking with Jesus during his last week. It’s Thursday.
Today, we see Jesus’ legacy.
Jesus and his disciples are in the Upper Room, sharing the Passover meal. During the meal, Jesus explained and expressed his legacy. It’s how we remember him.
While the disciples are having a “p*ssing” contest, Jesus says, “You want to be great? Trying to show who’s the best? Then be a servant. I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:24-27). He practiced what he preached by doing the work of a servant and washing their feet - each foot of each disciple. Yep, even the feet of the ones who would deny and betray him.
We’re in the middle of the process of electing a President.
The President of the United States. The Leader of the free world. The Commander-in-Chief. The Chief Executive. Mr. or Ms. President.
Imagine this: The Comander-in-Chief as a waiter. The President serving you food. The Chief executive bringing wine and bread to your table. The most powerful person on the planet waiting on you.
Imagine this: Jesus washing your feet. Serving you. Waiting on you.
That’s his legacy.
A legacy of humility.
A legacy of peace (John 14:27).
A legacy of joy (John 15:11).
A legacy of friendship (John 15:14-15).
A legacy of love (John 15:17).
A legacy of comfort (John 16:7).
A legacy of internal truth (John 16:13).
A legacy of unity (John 17:21).
A legacy of non-violence (Matthew 26:52).
A legacy is to be remembered, honored, followed.
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:15).