Friday, July 27, 2012

Opening Ceremonies

This is not a moan, just in case you were planning to misunderstand me!

I was listening to the news this morning and they were talking about the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games. This closely guarded secret will be revealed to an estimated 4 billion people over a three hour period tonight. Three hours! How long does it take to say welcome to the athletes and then tell them to get on with the games?

What was interesting in the broadcast was the discussion about those athletes that won't be there because the late finish and all the trappings of the ceremony could interfere with their performance. Think about the cyclist who take to the road the following day. So, if the Olympics is all about the athletes and the sport, how come the opening ceremony cannot be timed to allow them all to take part without affecting the games? Not an easy question to answer, but here's another, more personal question.

Are we more taken up with the celebration of God's mission than we are with the mission itself? Do you think there's a lesson for us to learn from the games that when the opening show is an event in itself, maybe the real purpose can get a little lost.

From what I've heard from those who were at the preview, and no they haven't given away any details, it sounds like a spectacular event awaits everyone who attends. But in the midst of the glitz and glamour and celebrity spotting of tonight's ceremony we should not forget it's meant to celebrate the games not the show itself.

Church is not a celebration of itself. It has to point to the greater mission of God otherwise it is quite simply a show that has little point. Let's not forget that either.

PS If you've got tickets to any part of the Olympics I hope you have a great time. Having wandered around London the last couple of weeks, everywhere there seems to be a buzz of activity. To quote Boris Johnson form this morning: The Geiger-counter of Olympomania of off the scale!

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