The Soccer World Cup has kicked off, with a bang. From all accounts, it promise to be a huge success and we are behind our South African national team, affectionately known as Bafana Bafana (literally meaning 'the boys', in our Nguni languages). For many of us, this is a time to simply kick off the shoes and relax for a while-to celebrate and bask in the glory of the Local Organising Committee, under the leadership of Danny Jordaan, the national team, under the serious eye of Brazilian coach, Alberto Carlos Pareira and of course, to blow our vuvuzelas along, waiving our flags. 'This is our time', we would say and would firmly hope (and pray!) that all of this will 'make us proud'. Its an emotional time. Its a time where we again hope for another miracle.
How do we as followers of Jesus Christ make sense of all of this. Is some more miracles possible? For some, its a time to remind people that the coming of Jesus is more important then the national euphoria. For others, its an opportunity to cash in on the moment. If FIFA and the tenderpreneurs can do it, why can't we also. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the view that the Soccerworld cup is an opportunity to showcase the best of your nation and to utilise the space for economic activity. Others however point out that this event is a big scam-it is another way in which the allready rich and powerful are continuing their plunder of the poor and the natural resources.
Which ever way you look at it. We as believers cannot hide our heads in the hoping that by doing so, 'this too shall pass'. We cannot simply brush it off. This is indeed 'our time, now', sekunjalo ke nako. This is God's time and an opportune moment, for followers of Jesus Christ to continue to serve Gods cause, now with so many more people concentrated at our doorsteps, now with so much more of the world's eyes focussed on our every move. Let's remind ourselves, however: we are not to be known for our arrogance or vain pretense, but for our integrity, humble service and hospitality to strangers. This challenge will remain after the last whistle is blown at the final, when new strangers will continue to flock into our cities, our villages, schools and churches. Let's not loose the ball and miss the opportunity to witness the love and grace that heal and open up new hope. This is the miracles that are close, that are possible...It is within our reach.
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