ALBERTA

Blue Jays Inspire Sermon By Calgary Pastor

10/06/2015 07:11 EDT | Updated 10/07/2015 03:59 EDT

The Toronto Blue Jays' resurrection holds a lesson in faith and redemption, says a Calgary pastor, and will hopefully result in one grand hallelujah.

“They’ve been resurrected as a baseball team, in a way Toronto and baseball fans across the country have been redeemed and it has been a storybook year," said Pastor John Van Sloten in a sermon at Calgary's New Hope Church on Sunday.

Van Sloten, a life-long Jays fan, took the team's recent success in reaching the playoffs for the first time since 1993 as a cue to incorporate baseball's doctrine into his work.

"[Sport] is a place where we learn to win and lose gracefully," he said in his sermon titled "God, Glory and the Toronto Blue Jays." (Watch video above.)

The pastor pointed to the teamwork of players like Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Goins, Marcus Stroman as an example to his congregation.

"God is saying I need all of you to make my world complete, to make this game a real game. They work together. You work together. We work together for the same goal."

The sermon, which was accompanied by a Jays' highlights reel, inspired some church-goers.

"Just to look at my own gifts, and what I can do in the world and see how I can maybe be victorious a little bit along with the Jays this week, at least I'm hoping," congregant Chuck Van Dyk told CBC News.

Van Sloten told the Calgary Herald that he got hooked on the Blue Jays when he lived in Toronto in the early 1990s.

It's more than just the Jays miraculous season that inspires Van Sloten; he draws insight from the sport itself.

The baseball diamond has "perfect geometry that mirrors the perfect design of God’s creation," Van Sloten wrote in a blog post about the game.

The pastor is known for finding inspiration for his sermons in unusual places, regularly using pop culture references including "The Simpsons", Metallica, and Arcade Fire.


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