Better than the World Cup?

Dear Friends,

I loved the World Cup, admittedly watching more football than I should, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I write from the viewpoint of an England fan, so I hope those from other countries will forgive me for a moment. How good it was to see England at last playing the same game as everyone else, and playing it pretty well, and to have such a likeable team, rather than a bunch of preening prima donnas, not to mention their humble and articulate manager.

Many also spoke of the way England’s World Cup adventure brought the nation together, when it seems so divided on so many things, not least Brexit. It was estimated that as many as 26.5 million people watched England lose to Croatia in the semi-final, making it the most-watched programme on British TV since the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.

Surely that desire to be brought together is a good one, however fleeting the experience, an instinct that comes from being made in the image of the God who is himself a complex unity? We learned in Ephesians that God is busy restoring the unity of our fragmented world, ‘bringing all things together under one head, even Christ’ (Ephesians 1:10). To do that, he has made peace between us and himself, and between us and one another, both through the blood of Christ (2:13-18). That makes church better than the World Cup, a place where our unity is international, permanent and with God himself. Enjoy it!

Yours warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister/Vicar)