Despite watching the Red Sox come from behind to beat the Yankees last night in the first Major League game of the 2010 season, I consider the real opening day to be happening this afternoon (Monday).  For me, the season officially starts when the Reds take the field at Great American Ballpark for the first time.  In fact, until ESPN stole the show a few years ago with a Sunday night opener, the Reds historically were the first team to throw a pitch every season (since they were the first professional team ever created).  So, today at noon Central time, I will be watching as Aaron Harang tosses a pitch to the lead off hitter from St. Louis. I realize that virtually no one is picking the Reds to to even finish above .500, much less to compete for a spot in the post-season.  Still, as a life long fan, I’m somewhat hopeful on opening day.  Seriously.  If they can stay healthy, find a little power in the middle of the lineup, and have a couple of young players have breakout years, they have a chance.  I love opening day.  Every fan of every team feels that their team has at least a chance.  There is hope. Distinct parallels can be drawn between baseball’s opening day and life as a believer in Jesus.   For the Christian, every day is opening day.  Reason?  Jesus is alive.  On Easter Sunday, I had the privilege of preaching about just that.  The resurrection is all about hope and victory.  It’s hope that this life, for the believer, leads to the one in heaven promised by Jesus and the Scripture.  It’s victory over our greatest enemy, since death is not the end.   It’s hope and victory yet to come.  It’s also hope and victory currently applied.  It’s victory over your past, over your sin, temptations, relationship trouble, depression, failures, regrets, over what holds you back in life. The power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of every Christian.  Because of that, each of us can say, “I will rise in hope and victory, both now and later, because Jesus is alive.” How is that hope and victory applied?  By putting the Scripture into play in our lives (living it out), by not giving up, by standing firm in our faith, by living with an eternal perspective, by looking for what is unseen in our circumstances, by simply believing.  For the Christian, every day is opening day–there is hope, there is victory.