The Word on the Week

Golden Girl.

Katie Taylor winning Olympic Gold in the Women’s Lightweight Boxing Final dominated the news this week. The fact that it coincided with the late arrival of our Irish Summer made it all the more appreciated!

Katie boxes from a platform created by her faith in Jesus. It is not so much that she boxes for Him – as in pay-back time. Nor is it the she does her best by trying to live for Him. Instead her faith is in what Jesus has done for her on the cross, liberating her from the power and guilt of sin. It is out of this relationship with Jesus, her Saviour that the freedom comes to speak of Him in her life.

Other athletes witness to their faith by using symbols such as crossing themselves before and sometimes after the event. Still others draw attention to their country by pointing to the logo on their clothing. Again we have witnessed competitors taking a moment to publicly pray on their knees giving thanks to God for their performance.

Harder to interpret are the index fingers pointing upwards. These could be pointing to a higher power but, in the absence of any collaborating evidence may simply be saying that they are number one!

Katie Taylor removes any ambiguity. Her words are often direct quotations from scripture. They centre on her thankfulness to Jesus. She attributes her success to Him.

The Bible contains many references to people who have had a life changing encounter with Jesus. They have gone on to tell others. Sometimes this has been impulsive, such as the Samaritan woman at the well who spoke to her neighbours (St John chapter 4). At other times it was on Jesus instruction that a transformed man returned to his family with the news of his changed life (St Mark chapter 5 verses 19/20).

In every case the focus is on Jesus not the church, not the person who was changed but on the Saviour who had changed them.

So it is with our “Golden Girl”. She does not soak up the applause but re-directs it to Jesus whom she testifies to as her Lord and Saviour who has made it all possible.

She presents us with the challenge to encounter Jesus for ourselves and then to live and speak for Him giving God the glory for the great things he has done.