• Ruth Dearnley

The Beautiful Game

Yesterday I was ironing. Nothing spectacular about that but I was watching the football, excited about the first day of Euro 2020.

Suddenly the game changed.

Millions watching around the world, thousands present in the stadium witnessed Christian Ericksen, the Danish star player, collapsed on the pitch and we watched for what seemed like hours, knowing something was very seriously wrong.

We weren’t watching a game anymore. Real life showed up.

Commentators struggled for words, the players formed a circle around their friend as medics worked to save his life.

Amazingly an hour and a half later the match resumed at the players request as Christian was awake and stable in hospital.

For me it was a stark reminder that with all the passion, pride and money associated with the beautiful game: that’s what it is - a game.

And it’s when the game changes that we are all truly defined.

Those moments on the pitch gave us the glimpse of what true beauty looked like. The love shared, care given, prayers prayed and a stadium of 2 opposing sides singing as one voice chanting one name.

Jesus didn’t hold back from saying what a beautiful life looked like. True beauty grows from within and shines from without.

And he didn’t mince his words about it doesn’t look like. When talking about the Pharisees Jesus said,

“In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 28 v 23

It's a challenge but its not up for negotiation.

We continue to pray for Christian for a full recovery.

We pray for those who play, spectate and manage Euro 2020 that we can all enjoy and celebrate the beautiful game.

And we pray for each other and as a church, that we nurture true beauty grown from within, so play a beautiful game and we are ready for the moments when the game changes.

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