Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"No Place In the Hall"

      Jerry Kramer is considered by many of his peers and other observers to be the greatest offensive lineman the game of football ever produced.  Under Coach Vince Lombardi, Kramer played on five National Football League championship teams.  In the 1962 title game, he booted three field goals (he was also a kicker) to lead the Packers in scoring, and in the 1967 championship (known as "The Ice Bowl), he executed the most famous block in the the history of the NFL, clearing the way for quarterback Bart Starr to score the winning touchdown in the final seconds of the game.  He served as the linchpin for the dreaded "Packer Sweep," and clips abound on the Internet of countless blocks he performed in leading Green Bay's running backs to touchdowns and glory. 

    Kramer, however, is not a member of the pro football Hall of Fame.  Nobody knows why.  Far lesser offensive lineman, with far less impressive records, occupy places in the Hall (fifty members of the Hall recently signed a petition to affirm that Kramer should join them).  His rightful place there, however, remains unoccupied.  Some believe that only his passing will awaken those who nominate and vote to realize and correct the omission.  For his part, Kramer harbors no bitterness.  "I'm very, very fortunate to have been a part of that team, under that coach, during that slice of time" he says. 

    "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat... do not ye after their works... all their works they do for to be seen of men" (Matthew 23:1; 3; 5).

   We live in days wherein Christendom offers fame and fortune to those with special gifts, and in many cases, to those who aggressively seek to be known and rewarded.  It is very difficult, impossible actually, to justify this in Biblical terms.  The Lord Jesus Christ who founded our faith lived 90% of His life in obscurity.  The short time in which His presence became public ultimately led to rejection and death on a cross viewed in terms of shame.  Moreover, His apostles suffered similar fates, including the most important of all, the Apostle Paul, who wrote, "I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death... we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day" (I Corinthians 4:9-13).  Thus, our Lord and His primary communicators paved a path for us far more likely to lead to approbation than acclamation.

    Such consideration always reminds me of the dew that served to feed Israel.  You read correctly, the dew.  "And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna" (Exodus 16:14-15).  We remember, rightly, the manna.  Without the dew, however, Israel would have remained unfed.  No place in the Hall of Fame exists for this oft forgotten servant of God and of Israel, nor is one desired.  A bright light thus shines forth from the dew, even as it purposefully directs all glory and illumination to the sustenance it provided...

"Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory!"
(Psalm 115:1)

Weekly Memory Verse
    For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:7-8)

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