I remember the day after my all-time favorite Major League Baseball pitcher – Sandy Koufax – hurled a perfect game for my all-time favorite team – the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was 54 years ago.
I was 16, living in a suburb of the Big Apple.
And I was anxious to stop at a nearby newsstand on my way to school. I wanted to check on what my hero had done the night before.
The Dodgers, by then, had moved to L.A. from Brooklyn, and the time zone difference often made getting up-to-date reports on the team’s West Coast games difficult for me.
But when I got inside that newsstand that day, it seemed to me that Koufax did what he did in time enough to make the front page of every newspaper – big or small – around the world.
What he’d done was a very big deal on the international sports scene:
Koufax, with error-free play by his teammates backing him, prevented from reaching base every one of the minimum 27 batters he faced.
In sports, the rare feat remains recognized as a near-impossible accomplishment.
I was overtaken by great joy and great pride for my favorite pitcher and my favorite team.
But certainly, then in my early days of worldly living, I would never have considered this:
That near-impossible human sports feat pales every time in comparison with what Jesus did on Calvary.
In truth, nothing in this world can be compared with it.
Yet I remain convinced that if, somehow, Jesus had been crucified on the same night that Sandy Koufax pitched his perfect game, very few newspapers would have even reported what happened on Calvary.
And those that would have printed the story, likely would have buried it somewhere far back on their inside pages.
Sadly for me, now a longtime Christian, my persuasion in all of that is steeled by the human condition and my experiences in the world:
Of course, as we all know, our weak flesh always makes it hard for all of us mortals to believe in the miraculous nature and actions of God.
We often find it much easier to admire and praise the extraordinary achievements of other carnal beings mainly because we can see them and touch them.
With the devil’s help, too, we can also strive to place in higher regard our consideration of those sports figures and the events in which they participate.
But especially those of us, who make it our custom to gather with fellow saints and worship God on these Lord’s Days, beg the Holy Spirit to help us keep our priority straight:
Jesus, who suffered and died on the cross, went to His grave and rose from death, all to save our souls and clear our way to God, His and our Father.
And today I say no matter what temporal achievements any of us weak-fleshed human beings may reach, we could never top what our Lord did.
His will always be the greatest achievement ever in the world.
With the help of the Holy Spirit and days of worship such as these, we never forget.
All glory belongs to the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake” (Ps.115:1).