The true Olympic spirit-strangely Christlike

I really enjoyed the London 2012 Olympic Games. I think they were a great success in so many ways beyond the excellent sporting spectacle. The motto of the games was “Inspire a generation”. Whilst the main aim was to encourage greater participation in sports, there are wider lessons to be learnt. These can be summed up in two words that occurred repeatedly in reports and discussions on TV and in the papers. In many of the trackside interviews following success and failure a common theme was the sacrifice required of an athlete just to gain entry into the Olympic team. Many moved half easy artists the world to find the best coaching our facilities. Some were up early in order to run, swim our cycle before a day of school or work. Others had to adhere to strict diets or early nights. But every one said the sacrifice was worth it. in our consumer culture the idea of going without something desirable is not popular, even for the prospect of great reward. But neither is the concept new. Jesus warned his followers: Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:25 NIV During the closing ceremony, Lord Coe praised the spirit of generosity in which the British people received the games. We saw it in the shared celebrations among the athletes when Jessica Ennis won gold-and on many similar occasions. We heard it as a patriotic crowd cheered on home grown heroes and hopeful visitors. But it was most in evidence in the cheerful service offered by the Olympic volunteers. Thousands of ordinary people sacrificed time, energy, and perhaps money to help competitors, spectators and officials enjoy the best Olympics ever. This too is an important Christian virtue. In a society obsessed with obtaining and keeping wealth, it’s worth remembering the words of St Paul: God will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times. 2 Corinthians 9:11 So let’s pray that our Olympic Games will inspire a generation to sporting excellence; but more importantly may we emulate put sportsmen and women and their volunteer assistants in a spirit of self-sacrificing generosity.

About prophetable

My wife Elizabeth and I were commissioned as Officers (ministers) in The Salvation Army in 1997, and have served in appointments in England and Scotland. Since July 2016 I have been working in The Salvation Army's Scotland Office as combined parliamentary and ecumenical representative.
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