While I am not usually a big fan of sports, I have found myself glued to the Olympic Games this year. It amazes me that so many people are able to come together from so many different places around the world for a single event. Despite all of the division and conflict we see too often these days, the Olympics still have a way of unifying people and bringing them together. Watching the Olympics reminds me of the painting by the Moravian painter Johann Haidt titled “The First Fruits.” In this painting, we see a depiction of what heaven might be like. Jesus is there of course, but surrounding him are people from all different nationalities, races, ages, and walks of life. It is always my prayer that our church will be like this painting, and be a place where everyone will feel welcome and important.
My new favorite Olympic event to watch just had an Olympic debut in Tokyo this year: Skateboarding. Something that struck me was that while the Olympic skateboarders are the best in the world at what they do, every single one of them fell at least once during the competition. They fell because in order to be the best you can’t always do the easiest tricks. The more difficult the technique, the higher the score skaters will receive. As we strive to be the best version of ourselves, we might fall from time to time. As we try our best to follow Jesus, we are bound to stumble. The good news for us is that Jesus is the judge of our performance, and despite our flaws he loves us more than we can imagine.