17 April 2016

Accolades abundant

60 points in his final game as an NBA superstar for Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. An ending to an amazing career spanning 20 years, which is the longest of any such star, came to an end this week. Terrific ending and a terrific player. His personal life was in chaos for a season or two, but he overcame the difficulties, they say, and came through with flying colours of blue and gold. The tribute video is online, and Kobe was sitting to watch it as the evening began. High praises from a massive crowd.

I sometimes watch golf on the television. I prefer playing golf, to be sure, but some events draw me to the screen. The US Masters is one of those, as the men putt on what appears to be glass, as a champion like 46-year-old Ernie Els can miss 5 putts from less than 2 metres and keep missing, like three holes-in-one on the 16th in Sunday's final round including one which bounced off another ball on the way to the cup. Amazing moments which are well noted. And then there was the final appearance by two-time champion and Kansas City native Tom Watson. He had a good crowd around him most of the first two days, but the ending was so powerful it was to be watched over and over.

A still shot doesn't even come close to the thrill of the moment.
Ever the gentleman and a good ambassador for the game, Watson wiped away a tear or two. His farewell was emotional for anyone with a living heart.

Accolades were abundant for Kobe and for Watson. And well deserved, to be sure. All the while, I was pondering the accolades that are sure to come for another champion. His name is more well known but not so much in sporting circles. He lived before either golf or basketball were invented, but there were struggles to score nonetheless. He had to score with the crowds, when often they were hostile to him, almost like Kurt Tippett playing again at the Adelaide Oval against his old teammates at the Crows.

Yeshua, born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, had a following of other Jewish people throughout Judea and Galilee, what we call modern Israel. And in many places he heard the roar of the crowd, but in other places the cheer turned to jeering. On what some title "Palm Sunday" the crowds were full of hope and expectation. "Hosanna," they shouted. But just days later, "Crucify him" was in their choral voice.

Accolades don't often last but in this case, the world will turn to applause and praise of the messiah. In the book of Revelation, we read "And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.” And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.” (4.8-11)

Today listen to the words of Yeshua. Consider who he is. Sports heroes come and go. Praises on the court or on the course come and go. But the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, He is here to stay. Join the "Hallelujah chorus" of living creatures who give him praise. Let accolades be abundant... from YOU.

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