A recent article ...

Recently I was invited to write and Article for Christian Forum in the Herald newspaper series. For those that missed it, here it is:

As I write this article, the Invictus Games are starting in Orlando. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, the Invictus Games is an international competition for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. In them, men and women who have faced some of the most challenging things life can throw at anyone compete in sporting events.

There is something especially powerful about seeing people overcome their challenges. Whatever one thinks about war, to see a fellow human being who is living with the brutal consequences of war, take up a sport and start to live again is humbling. To quote a competitor from the Games, “Up until my awareness of the Invictus Games, all I had been doing was living in memories. In my mind my life has been over and I was just waiting to be done because I’m not capable of doing or living like I used to. I‘m starting to think however, that my game has just begun.”

These games remind me quite how remarkable a human being is. Quite how incredibly resilient the human soul is (as their poem reminds us) and quite how amazing the human body. In these situations the truth of Psalm 139v14, in which David cries out to God, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” shines forth brightly. The human capacities to adapt, to survive, to rediscover, to reinvent, to learn again, to learn for the first time, and to overcome speak of a quite remarkable creator.

I thank God that he made us so incredibly well, that even when a messed up world throws its worst at us, the future isn’t all lost. I doubt I will probably never face anything as hard as these men and women do, but it reassures me in my small challenges to know that God made us, made me and made you, so very well. Even more as a Christian, I am deeply grateful that I have access to the Holy Spirit – the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and is at work in those who follow Jesus.

Reproduced with thanks to and the permission of the Herald Series of newspapers.

Neil Townsend
Wantage Pastor

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