The magic number is two. If the Rangers win two of the four games against the Angels in the final regular season series that begins tonight in Arlington, they’ll win their first division title since 2011. They’ll also clinch the championship if they win only one and the Astros lose at least one of their three games in Arizona starting tomorrow.
This won’t be easy. The Halos are 10-5 against Texas this year. And, remember, Texas led the A.L. West by two games with four to play in 2012 and blew it, going 1-3 against Oakland and losing the division on the last day of the season.
The good news may be that LAA got seven of those ten wins against the Rangers before the All Star break. Texas was throwing guys like Ross Detwiler, Nick Martinez, Anthony Ranaudo, and Wandy Rodriguez at the Angels during the first half. Since then, the Rangers have added Derek Holland, Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, Jake Diekman, and Sam Dyson to the pitching staff and have gone 3-3 against the Halos. Colby Lewis is the only starter from the first half of the season who is still in the team’s rotation. And, if this thing is still undecided by Sunday, Texas will have Hamels up and ready against a team that’s never faced him.
Four games to play. The magic number is two.
Act Six of the Story of God is not about getting a person’s individual sins forgiven so we can go to heaven when we die. Yes, that’s a very important means of God’s salvation, but that’s not the final end. That’s not the ultimate purpose. God is putting the whole world right. He’s renewing and restoring all of Creation. This is not salvation from the world; this is salvation of the world! Not just personal forgiveness and peace; this is justice and shalom/peace for the whole world. Not individual souls going to heaven; it’s the fullness of God coming here. The risen and reigning Jesus showed it to John. And he wants us to see it, too.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’
He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.'” ~Revelation 21:1-6
It is done. It is finished. The authoritative words of Jesus on the cross are repeated here by our risen and glorious Lord. It is done. It is completed. In the New Creation, all of God’s salvation purposes have come to their conclusion. This is the confirmation and the victory of what God did when he created the world way back in the beginning. This is the confirmation and victory of God accomplished in Christ Jesus two thousand years ago.
The most certain way to figure out what God is going to do in the future is to pay careful attention to what God has done in the past. This is Back to the Future… only without Biff and the cool DeLorean (Well, I don’t know… maybe there will be a cool DeLorean. There definitely won’t be anybody saddled with the last name of McFly). As God’s children and disciples of the Lord Jesus and we remember the future. What we look forward to is not the destruction of life and the planet but the renewal and restoration of God’s original and “very good” Creation.
The opposite of Yogi Berra’s famous line is true: The future is exactly what it used to be!