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Thursday, 9 August 2012

Olympic Fever and being a Christian...

Olympic Rings on Tower Bridge

Like so many others I am loving the Olympic Games. Not a huge sports fan, I was enthusiastic about the once in a lifetime aspect of it all in advance, but that's about all. However ever since it started I have hardly torn myself away from the TV coverage! I am a newly found olympo-phile!  The thing I love most though is the fact that it seems to be bringing our nation together. For once we have something in common with almost everyone in the country. Even those initial doubters seem to have been converted!

Last week we headed up to London to meet some Haitian athletes - will write about that tomorrow - and we didn't even go into the Olympic park, but the atmosphere across the city was amazing. On the train from our home station people were chatting about what event they were going to see and the medals that had already been won. We even handed out our spare olympic branded biscuits to those sat near us! At London Bridge we were greeted by smiling stewards in their manly pink olympic tabards (!). Even on the tube people were happy, chatting to each other like long lost friends, not strangers who happended to be off to the same event. People queued sedately (but of course, we are British), chatting away, we met atheletes and coaches from all over, happy to have photos taken and sign autographs, we even met one of the olympic chaplains or Pastors.

The olympics have forged a new found national pride, an atmosphere of joy, a season of togetherness that I don't think anyone (even Lord Coe) could have foreseen. And I pray this continues...

However last night a friend challenged me on this olympic fever. Saying that as Christians is it right that we celebrate and shout and scream for these people in a way we don't do for our faith? At first I thought he was being all 'bah humbug', but has he got a point? I mean if we are happy to so publically venerate the olympics and our Team GB and other athletes, why not Jesus? Why are so many of us so sedate about our faith and our King yet will shout and scream at the olympics, rock stars and gigs...? Is it just British reserve? clearly not as we have seen over these last 2 weeks. Is it fear? Is it because it's not easy enough?  Is it because we are worried what others will think of us? There is safety in numbers of course and we have all been raving about the olympics, it's been easy because everyone else feels the same. Bu what would it take to unite this nation in Jesus I wonder...?

There has been lots written about the Olympics but if you are interested these are a couple of feel good posts on the subject:

Seeker: Running for Joy  this hasd me in tears!
and Steve Tilleys Olympic Thoughts

edit: and another good post here from Voyage of a Forlorn Treasure

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