The Commonwealth Games are over. Considered the best ever, it was certainly a gripping 10 days. The potential of many young competitors had been recognised and, with training and commitment they gave it their all. They took part in their particular sport with perseverance and blazed the way for many who will follow in their steps. Along the way they were supported by their families, trainers, and fellow team members. When they competed they were encouraged and cheered on. 15,000 volunteers made everyone feel at home, a friendly presence. The memory will live on for a long time for many.
Just one day after the closing ceremony of the Games, with great solemnity, the leaders of the Commonwealth and many others gathered in Glasgow Cathedral to remember the beginning of the First World War a hundred years before. With respect they honoured those who fought and died in that conflict and those who were injured in it. Up and down the country similar services were being held. A generation of young men went into the carnage of trench warfare and gave their all. Along the way their families supported them by praying for them, writing letters to them and sending food and clothes parcels. Small acts of kindness meant a lot. Their memory has lived on for a long time.
Every person in every generation has a life to live, a race to run, however long that may be. All of us have the example of those who have showed us the way and are encouraged by those who have gone before, who have blazed the way and cheer us on. The writer of Hebrews urges us to ‘… run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…’ (Hebrews 12.1b-2a NRVS).
The Revd Canon Philippa Brunt, Vicar of Parkend and Viney Hil,l Area Dean of Forest South Deanery, Diocese of Gloucester