After two and a half weeks, the Games of the XXX Olympiad are concluded and it is time for Bob Costas to leave all of our living rooms. One of the best things about the 2012 Olympics, however, has been the wonderful and inspiring stories produced through the competitions, and, for me, one story rises above the rest. Last Thursday, during qualifying for the men’s 4 x 400 meter relay, American Manteo Mitchell was running the opening leg of the relay when he felt a pop. In great pain, he continued to run—determined not to let down his teammates. After completing the lap and handing off the baton, Mitchell limped away to discover he had broken his leg! Yet he had continued to run some 200 meters with the pain of that broken leg. Amazing!
For followers of Christ, we can only imagine how marvelous the church would be if that kind of devotion to one another was seen in our assemblies. The Scriptures certainly encourage that devotion—over 20 times in the New Testament we are challenged to serve one another with love, in prayer, with concern, through encouragement, and on and on it goes. Those “one another” statements remind us that we do not live the Christian life in a vacuum. We are connected to one another through Christ, and we have both the responsibility and the privilege of being part of the body of Christ. And it is not just out of human kindness that this devotion is fueled. As John wrote, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).
In redemption, God has not only given us Himself and His grace, He has given us a family—and one that we can engage with full devotion.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain