Andy Hawkins, a Major League pitcher for the New York Yankees, will go down in history for pitching a no hitter. Little boys dream about it.

How many Major League pitchers come and go and never achieve what Andy Hawkins did in 1990? And yet, why was it such a bitter sweet experience? Because he lost the game.

How does a pitcher lose a no-hitter? By having his teammates commit three errors in one inning, allowing the opposition to score one run. Hawkins did his best, but his teammates did not do what they were counted on to do. They dropped the ball. They failed to do what they were supposed to do.

There is an analogy between Andy Hawkins and his teammates and Jesus and his followers (you and me). Andy needed the help of his teammates to win the game, to accomplish the desired result, the win. But they failed and the game was lost.

Jesus accomplished all that the Father had asked and he has turned the chores over to us to accomplish the task.

Have we failed? Have we dropped the ball? You and I have been called by the Spirit to minister to the world. The early disciples had done their job. They went to the far corners of the world proclaiming the message of God’s love in Jesus the Christ. Without their efforts, much of the world would never have heard about God’s love.

But the task is not over. We are in extra innings and we need to go forth from our congregations, from our homes and proclaim God’s love for everyone. The task is not only for the professional clergy, but also for all of his followers. And it is not only the words we speak, but the lives we live.

"On Faith" is a weekly column in the News-Chronicle written by area religious leaders.