With Wimbledon and Euro 2020 climaxing this weekend, and after eighteen months of restrictions, there is a taste of freedom and celebration in the air. Crowds are beginning to gather and, for some, an opportunity to get together with friends and family for the first time in many months. For others, they are fearful and anxious about opening up. They hesitate when before they might not have even thought about the risks that life makes for them. It has always been so; and yet there is still a heightened shadow preventing some from throwing caution to the wind.
At last, it seems our churches and worship spaces are also being allowed to ease the restrictions to the point that singing, that great ‘no, no’ we have lived with for so long, will be eased within church buildings again. The great festival of sport that has gripped us all has led the way, as we have watched the spectators singing to their heart’s content.
But churches are not sports ground and we have a special responsibility to make sure when people come to worship they can do so in comfort and without anxiety. So, although the restrictions are eased, churches are reflecting on what is important for us and we will lead with a fair amount of caution so as not to exclude anyone.
Let’s enjoy the sport and support our favourites, but let us do so with a care for others and a regard for everyone’s safety. In Christian terms that is about loving our neighbour as well as loving God – the two are indivisible, after all – and lead by example in the only game that matters, the game of life!