Please don’t stop reading if you have little or no interest in football, because I want to speak about much, much more than the ‘beautiful game’!
I would be surprised if you had failed to notice that this weekend marks the start of the new football season. Over the years, I have without exception, felt both excited and optimistic at the start of a new campaign. However and unsurprisingly, more often than not, by Christmas my hope gives way to disappointment and disappointment to despair.
The Bible speaks a great deal about hope. However, when the Apostle Paul speaks of this hope to his friends in Rome, he says that ‘this hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us’ (Ro 5:5). The hope that we read about in Scripture is not the misplaced ‘glass half full’ optimism of a deluded Manchester City fan. Rather, it is a hope that is substantial, sure, steadfast and certain. It is not a hope that is here today and gone tomorrow, rather it is a hope that is purchased, sealed and secured by the precious blood of Jesus. Indeed this is not even a hope that lasts for a lifetime, but one that will be fulfilled throughout eternity.
Therefore, whatever your team (or even if you do not have one), isn’t it wonderful that together we can be certain of a result that is worth celebration?