Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Journey Begins

This is it...

Today marks the day when England go into battle for the first time in the Germany 2006 World Cup campaign. Good luck to the lads. I'm with you all the way.

There are many parallels between spirituality and football... many dead churches could learn a great deal from the atmosphere you see at a football ground. The average footie match resounds with the bellowing of thousands of grown men... largely tone deaf... who rally their team no matter the weather, no matter the odds. The average church service or Songs of Praise can often by contrast be sanitised and half hearted. We need to get the same passion for God as a football supporter has for his team... even more than this!!!

Recently I've understood that supporting England in football is very much like supporting England in Church. You read about all the great revivals and wonders from the past... the Early Church, the Great Revival, the Celtic revivals, the Hebridean revival... to name just the ones relevant to my nation... and you yearn to see that in your lifetime. It's not all that different to the hopes we pin on England. All my life I've heard the nostalgia of 1966 and England's great World Cup victory over Germany... and yet we've never seen it in my time. not only this, but the constant frustration of ebb and flow... England get so far and then have it snatched away by a a quirk of fate... the Church stirs so much and the smell of blossom fills the air and then God calls a halt to the season... often without any obvious reason to our mortal eyes.

Yet we keep on believing in England... and we keep on believing God will restore this nation. I am ever hopeful of the former and entirely convinced of the latter.

So, in both matters spiritual and footballing I cry out:

"God for Harry, England and St. George!!!!"

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