The World Cup kicked off for England yesterday – good football and a good result. Three images stood out for me.
The Iranian football team refused to sing their national anthem, identifying with the protests in Iran, showing solidarity with those in their country campaigning for the rights of women. Their silence spoke volumes.
Sing? O no we won’t!
Harry Kane, the England captain, didn’t wear the rainbow ‘one love’ armband. Many countries had said that they would, to show support for inclusion and equality. FIFA, football’s world governing body, said that they can’t.
Wear ‘one love’ armbands? O no you won’t!
Sasha Attwood, girlfriend of English footballer Jack Grealish, arrived in Qatar with her designer handbags, clothes, shoes, jewellery, make up… apparently needing twelve suitcases! Perhaps one included a kitchen sink!
Run out of anything? O no she won’t!
Francis of Assisi and Clare both came from middle class backgrounds. Both could have enjoyed their parents’ wealth; instead both chose a path of poverty, simplicity and humility, setting up groups of monks and nuns that followed the Franciscan way.
Prosperity, culture, success? O no they won’t!
One cold, snowy morning Cuthbert, a Celtic monk in Ripon, Yorkshire, discovered a young man outside his monastery. Cuthbert welcomed him in, washed his feet and warmed them with a towel. He prayed for the stranger and went to get him some food.
When her returned the stranger had gone. There were no tracks left in the snow to show he had left, but in his place three great loaves of fresh bread. Cuthbert concluded that the stranger was an angel and the loaves were from heaven…
Over the coming weeks Christians throughout the world will retell stories of the divine and super-natural – angels appearing to Mary, Joseph and shepherds… We can choose…
Believe in the super-natural? O no we won’t!
Dismiss it all as legend and myth? O no we won’t!
Make up your mind; decide what you think? O no we won’t!