Watching the World Cup

Watching the World Cup!

THE football World Cup is in full swing! Does that induce a reaction that is a cheer or a groan?

Because it polarises us, doesn't it? Do you love football or hate it? We are all impacted by the World Cup - even my mum who lives on her own and so have sole control over the TV remote laments that TV programmes and 'even the news' are rescheduled to fit around the 'beautiful game.'

For some, therefore, this is a gripping four weeks, with emotions heightened and opportunities for combining socialising with watching football fully grasped.

For others, these four weeks necessitate more excursions out of the house - into the garden maybe or to the - if you time things really carefully - empty shops just to get away from the incessant matches on the TV.

Whatever our preferences, there is no right or wrong. We are all different people. We have different likes and dislikes. Different things bring us to life, and different causes provoke our interest and attention. There is a danger, however, that we at times find ourselves wishing that others were more like us! It would make our understanding of others far easier!

We could understand each others' motivations, preoccupations, approaches to different aspects of life etc. And yet I believe that God deliberately created us to be different. 

Variety can be a challenge, but it is also interesting, colourful, engaging. In our interactions with others, we can become more rounded people, able to compromise and to learn.

But this relies on our acceptance of difference in others. Paul writes to the Church in Corinth about the need for difference in the church. He uses the analogy of the human body:

"If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose."
1 Corinthians 12: 17-18

In our differences, we all have our unique gifts to share and roles to play. My prayer as we tolerate, hate or delight in the World Cup is that we may grow in our appreciation of difference in one another.

Rev Em Coley

This article first appeared in the July 2018 edition of the St Leonard's parish magazine.