13 December 2017

Olympic Give Away!

raIt won’t have escaped your notice that we have at least two reasons to celebrate this summer! The first was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, a real cause to rejoice and give thanks to God for a woman of faith and tenacity, whose reign has proved her good character and shining example over so many years.

The second reason is the Olympic Games and any subsequent celebrations will be dependant on the medals our competitors receive!

Surely this is also an opportunity to engage with our neighbours and our communities. What can WE do, to help make our village, town or city a more congenial place to live?

I believe this is a great time for churches to reach out; to devise ways to show our love for our neighbours. All the churches (of all denominations) in the area where I live, are working together to serve the community. There will be marquees on the local common for two weeks, where children of all ages will be entertained at various times of the day and evening, as well as family events. A café area will house a big screen for people to watch the Olympic events and it will be free to all comers!

God calls us to, “Go into all the world to make disciples.” Matthew 28:19

That might sound rather daunting to those of us who are not theologians. However, we are ALL called and we have to start somewhere. What better opportunity of building up friendship and trust, than at an event like this? Let’s hope that it will arouse curiosity as to why people would spend their leisure time serving others and thus start some conversations about people’s lives and needs.

In his brilliant book, “Just walk across the room,” Bill Hybels writes:

“…one thing I’ve learned is that life’s great moments evolve from simple acts of cooperation with God’s mysterious promptings – nudges that always lean toward finding what’s been lost and freeing what’s been enslaved.

The adventure of collaborating with God involves bestowing the greatest gift a person can receive – the gift of amazing grace – on undeserving (and often unsuspecting) people like you and me.”

So let us pray, not just for the competitors, but for all the hundreds of volunteers and organisers; for the police and also for all those who will be offering hospitality and loving care to those who are serving their neighbourhoods. It’s not just the winning, but the taking part!

Fiona Castle