The Olympics have started. Are we ready?

Many of us don’t seem to be in our running shorts! Perhaps that will be after the Games have finished? We normally get a spike in interest in getting fit after such events as these. What event would you like to do?

Would it be the sitting endlessly in front of the goggle box to watch the streaming of the athletics, boxing, volleyball, rowing? That will be very popular indeed!

Four years ago I was at the London Olympics. Yes it’s true. We had been trained for it. We even had the uniform… okay not a running vest nor shorts – thank goodness.

This blue top was my uniform as a Games Pastor. It isn’t much. It didn’t keep me clean. It wasn’t that fancy. But it said what we were – it met its need.

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Euston Rail Station

We were drawn from many continents and churches. We had pastors, laity and even Dolly Parton’s chaplain with us on the team!

With a lovely families providing accommodation all over London, we would travel in every day for a week or so to Euston, St Pancras and/or King’s Cross Rail stations we could meet up with people in everyday situations, to help, support, listen and love. We needed to be ready. We collected litter, chatted to the cleaners, helped people with heavy luggage, stayed with travellers who had missed their connection and were confused, had a cuppa with those who didn’t have a home but needed to be with someone. We even bought flip flops and arranged for someone to collect one chap who had awoke from a night out without any shoes and any knowledge of why he was at Euston station. I suppose the uniform was sufficient. It was us who needed to be ready.

As I look ahead to the next few years for Mandy, my wife, and myself we need to be ready, but how?

We could save up some money.  Do you have a piggy bank at home? How often do you put money in it? I know some people who, at the end of each day, put all of the change from their pockets into a piggy bank. It may not be a lot of money, but when you add to it every day, it is amazing how quickly it builds up.

Now if I put a penny in this box today and double that on Monday, and double that on Tuesday and so on until we leave in a fortnights time I would have £163.83…just from a penny. If I did it for 2 months I’d have more than the debt of the USA! (2^64-1)

One thing we have to be careful of is that the treasure that we are building doesn’t become the most important thing in our life.

Jesus warned about that in teaching his followers about money. He told them that they should not worry so much about building up treasures on earth, but that they should concentrate on building up treasures in heaven.

When we come to Church are we ready?

I was told at an early age that I should look smart in Church. “Tuck in your shirt”. “Why are you wearing those awful trousers?”

I sometimes hear it even now….

I wonder whether that is important though.

When we come to Church what are we expecting to do? On many occasions I see the Buildings Committee members all around the Church with their overalls on, ready for action. You wouldn’t come fully attired, decked up to the nines and start on the drains, would you?

As this congregation what do we expect Jesus to say to us, to have us do. I paused and thought what you already do:

* Visiting the sick

* Helping to provide lunches for so many

* Being cheerful and thoughtful to someone who is sad

* Praying for one another

* Being a friend to someone who is lonely

* Forgiving someone who has hurt you

These are the treasures here in Heaven

So please let us not worry what we wear when coming to church. Let us not focus upon material objects nor financial gains. Let us build our investments in Heaven (that’s now not not the future).

So be dressed accordingly, ready to do His will as He needs, to all who need.

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