Now I guess you might be tempted to dismiss my musings as simply an emotional reaction to and reflection of the sporting participation of England last night. And indeed, this is such a reaction, but the reflection comes from seeing another England: the England cricket team, in action against India in the T20 competition held at Old Trafford yesterday tea time. For at that event, Jed and I had the privilege to witness a great spectacle where the sell-out stadium was mainly populated with fans of India, cheering on their heroes whom they have followed from afar. Families made up of British Indians across the generations were there from all over the country, sharing food, chants, and banter with all, in what was a wonderfully atmospheric cricket match. Indeed as the game rapidly became a guaranteed win for India, and interest subsided, gradually phones appeared whereby the sporting events across in Russia could be taken in. And without exception, everybody in the whole stadium was intently following and supporting England , the football team, and hoping that our one-nil lead would remain intact. Again I was moved, observing how united a crowd we were, with no scent of division in our midst.
And just as I love our country; this wonderful nation whereby when we get it right different ethnicities, age groups and other diverse groups can pull together and learn from and celebrate each other, so too do I love my church, and Brunswick in particular. Again we are richly blessed with great diversity, whereby (as was shared in Sunday morning’s service) our gifts, passions, aptitudes and talents can all be used for our mutual upbuilding and to the glory of God under whom we serve.
For ultimately it is God whom I love. A God who reaches out to each and every one of us. Our morning reading at prayer time today included these words from 1 Peter. I leave them with you, praying that you will find them as we did, a way of encouraging us, and deepening our love.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.