Rio 2016

by Revd Janet Tebby, Team Vicar

I love the font they designed for the Rio Olympic Games. So graceful and free-flowing. I discovered that every letter has its own symbolism, representing something of the Rio world.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the T represents the statue of Christ the Redeemer which overlooks Rio. The views with that statue as the backdrop were wonderful. They were a reminder that as Christians, our hope for un mondo novo (a new world) is not based on the dreams of an Olympic movement, but rooted in Christ Jesus.

St Paul, who clearly knew of the Olympic Games, wrote to the church in Corinth:

… anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! …. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him so we are Christ’s ambassadors; (2 Car 5:17-20)

Even when I was young and fit (yes, I was once. Briefly.) I wouldn’t have made it into the GB women’s hockey team. Even in my dreams. Citius .. altius … fortius sounds like a nightmare to me now! But being Christ’s representative? Working with others to bring about a new world? A truly new world? Now maybe there’s a possibility of that.

Paul again writes to the church in Rome: I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. (Rom. 1 :8)

A persecuted church in the heart of the most powerful empire ever known ( at that time) and their faith is being talked of everywhere. The church in Rome inspired a generation which inspired a generation, which inspired …. etc … and here we are. A part of history. A part of the future. Because the torch is now in our hand to inspire a new generation to follow Christ.

The glorious gospel of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world, the power of God for salvation …. And often we’re ashamed. OK, maybe not ashamed, but not inspired. Not enough so that our faith is talked about everywhere. So there’s our challenge – it’s our turn to make a difference, to work in faith for that new world.