Ever since I was a small boy I remember my family sitting in the living room glued to the tv as we watch the Olympics. We have always rooted for the USA, but we have also rooted for the other countries as we saw exceptional talent and ability to do wonders with the human body. Truly it is the spirit of unity around the world that makes the Olympic games so great.
For the last couple of games, our family has not had television that we paid for, nor did we have an antenna hooked up, so we got no channels. We had to follow the games on our computers, but this year is different.
This year our two youngest kids are in gymnastics, and we wanted them to be able to see what gymnasts do at Olympic levels. We finally broke down and got an antenna so that we could celebrate this year’s games as a family.
It has been great watching each of the teams in their various sports. Our kids are loving it. I think I am loving it more. But it is the spirit of the games that catches me. It is the spirit that says we are all human, and we can all come together for a common purpose. The Olympics are for every human on the planet.
This same spirit is evident in the Bible as well, though many people overlook it.
For many generations the Christian churches were places where prejudice and judgmental attitudes were fostered. They were exclusive places where you could come in if you were just right. Not all churches were like this, mind you. However, the ones that were accepting and loving to all people’s and races were ostracized by the other churches with great contempt.
This is the opposite of what we have been called to be.
Did you know that the king of Babylon wrote a chapter in the Bible? Nebuchadnezzar was king when Israel was taken into captivity. Now, many people believe that the Old a testament was written for the Jews. Here we have a pagan king writing a chapter in our Holy Book.
He had seen the miracle of the Fiery Furnace in Daniel 3, and then he had recognized Jehovah as the great God, but in Daniel 4 Nebuchadnezzar forgets what he has seen.
From his own perspective we read of his dream and how Daniel interpreted the dream for him. Shortly after this he was standing on the roof of his palace and gloating over all he had done, giving no credit to Jehovah. So God drove him out of his kingdom and turned him mad where he ate grass and grew wild like an animal. Finally he came back to his senses and prayed to Jehovah, and he was restored to his kingdom with even greater blessings.
This is an odd story, but the fact that the story is recorded in a Judeo-Christian Bible by a Babylonian king is even more odd.
I believe God is trying to send a message to us who grow so arrogant so quickly as to our election. He is trying to show us that the words of the Bible, and the hope in Christ, the Messiah, are for all mankind. We have no right to ostracize someone because of race or color. We shouldn’t be shunning someone because of their nationality. Jesus came to save me, and you, and the king of Iran too.
We are called to identify sin, and too many of us are all too happy to do that, but in identifying sin we are also called to reach out in love and help others out as brothers and sisters. God has called you to reach out to your neighbors and the world to tell them about the saving grace found in Jesus, for only He can take away your unrighteousness and make you whole.
So, I’m rooting for all the Olympians. And I’m rooting for all people to come to a knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus. His death and resurrection brings true life in a world that wants to live forever.
If you’d like to know more about the saving grace of Jesus, where you can have all the wrong you’ve ever done paid for, then please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the office at 245-1611. I would love to point you to Him. And He would love for you to come home. God bless every one of you.