The Word on the Week

Commonwealth Games

There is something quaint even old fashioned about the Commonwealth Games which opened in Glasgow this week. The athletes all had their moment of glory as the familiar scene was re-enacted. They followed the established custom of marching behind their flag bearer as they entered the arena to the strains of their own national anthem.

A Scottish twist was the Scotty dog wearing a “waistcoat” with the name of the Country clearly visible and led by his owner, preceding the national flag bearer.

The high tech tricks were kept to a minimum with one side of Ibrox Stadium totally occupied by a massive electronic screen. On it we were treated to some views of the glorious Scottish countryside which were rather spoiled by the electronic attempts at reproducing tartan!

The dancers and singers did well although the scarcity of the latter was reflected in an old clip of Andy Stuart belting out “Scottish Soldier” which brought back fond memories to people of a certain age!

The host city, Glasgow, got maximum publicity with its motto “Let Glasgow flourish” writ large. What they failed to mention was that in more Christian times the motto read “Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the Word and the praising of His Name”. With the editing out of the last two clauses Glasgow is left with a motto which begs the question as to why anyone should let Glasgow flourish after they have turned their back on their Maker and Redeemer. A question for another day perhaps?

The torch had travelled around the world in true Olympic style arriving by seaplane on the river Clyde which runs alongside the arena. The Queen was there to receive it and read the message which she had placed in the torch many months previously. A moment of comic relief occurred when the Chairman of the Games could not get the message out of the torch, he and the torch-bearer wrestled with it to the amusement of the crowd. The Queen, who could have probably done the job herself, had her own copy of the text so by the time the original was obtained it was seen to be redundant!

Using their maxim, Humanity Equality Destiny the Games shone a light on the equality or rather the inequality that exists between rich and poor. We were encouraged to subscribe £5 to UNICEF using cell phones and the resultant response jammed the network!

Mind you the tactic to extract the £5’s from Scottish pockets was pictures of the all too familiar starving children, from hot countries, projected across the side of Ibrox Park.

When St Paul was fundraising in Corinth, a city which Glasgow resembles, he spoke of the grace of God in giving us Jesus and the grace of Jesus in giving Himself. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians Chapter 8 verse 9).

The Corinthians had been redeemed and their lives turned around so now they could see what equality meant. It was reciprocal. They met others needs according to their means and when poverty hit them they received from others – verses 13/14.

Generosity not based on guilt but based on Biblical values out of a knowledge of Jesus.