Legacy is about love and forgiveness
WAS the returning Olympic heroes' parade in Plymouth this week the end of the Olympics or the beginning of what may (without cynicism!) be identified as the legacy?
As the spectacle of the Olympics and Paralympics begins to recede, some people are asking "how do we keep hold of the amazing feel-good factor they created?"
It seems to me the feel-good factor isn't about making yourself feel good. What we witnessed was about helping others, getting involved, being there (even when "being there" meant sitting at home in front of the TV!).
Somehow we knew we were a part of something bigger and perhaps that was even clearer because so many of those involved were not there because they were paid to be.
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Thinking about the Olympic legacy I was reminded of that famous saying of John F Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country", which in turn reminded me of "love your neighbour as yourself". In the Bible Jesus quotes this as the second commandment, the first being "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength".
Some people may be uncomfortable with this, but I have no doubt that through the Olympic experience many people got a sense of something bigger than they could easily explain away.
And for me this is how we keep hold of the feel-good factor: not by insisting that everyone can put into words what loving God means, or even wanting them to use the term, but that we put it into practice.
According to the Bible, one of the things Jesus said to his followers at the Last Supper was: "Your strong love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
Let's stop looking at each other's words and start looking at each other's actions. Let's stop limiting God to fitting into our man-made boxes and start recognising the presence of the Holy Spirit across our puny, artificial barriers. Let's find ways to love and forgive one another and leave the judgments to God. Let the Legacy begin!