Just under 3 weeks until the start of the World Cup in South Africa. Sadly once again my nation will not be represented. As it happens I will be on holiday ( in Italy) for the latter stages of the competition.
In preparation for the World Cup the Church of England has produced some prayers for the occasion. The 3 prayers have been written by the Right Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Croydon.
A prayer for all those involved
Lord of all the nations, who played the cosmos into being, guide, guard and protect all who work or play in the World Cup.
May all find in this competition a source of celebration, an experience of common humanity and a growing attitude of generous sportsmanship to others. Amen
A prayer for the host nation
God of the nations, who has always called his people to be a blessing for the world, bless all who take part in the World Cup. Smile on South Africa in her hosting, on the nations represented in competition and on those who travel to join in the party.
A prayer for those just not interested
Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever, bless us with understanding, strengthen us with patience and grant us the gift of sympathy if needed. Amen
The first prayer seems to picture God launching the cosmos into being perhaps like a goalkeeper sending the ball up field? Is that stretching the account of creation a bit far?
The second prayer is a good general prayer about all the people involved. I hope the competition will be a blessing to the people of South Africa.
But is the third prayer anticipating the sympathy that will need to shown when a certain nation fails to fulfill its potential again?
At Harrogate Baptist we are planning to show the England games on a big screen in a family friendly venue. I am looking forward to it.