Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Well Dressing

“All Creatures of our God and King”

This magnificent picture, created by year 10 students to commemorate the 2012 Olympic Games. The display reflects the Olympic ideal of bringing together all the nations of the world to one place to celebrate each other's achievements.

The Olympics in Ancient Greece existed for over a thousand years; they were begun around 770BC and abolished by the Church around 400AD. They were a bit different from the modern Olympic Games: for a start they lasted three months and also the athletes did so in the nude. Given the problems we’ve had with funding the London Games and the weather we’ve had recently, it’s a good job they’re now two weeks long – and fully clothed!

Because the Ancient Olympic Games were a Religious Festival, all those travelling to the games, to compete or to spectate, were given free passage and also peaceful passage. At the start of the games a Truce was declared and three runners would leave Ellis, the site of the games, spreading the news of peace to all the competing nations. All wars were suspended, all legal actions were suspended and death sentences commuted.

So as we look at this beautiful picture of all nations coming together for the Olympic Games, may we think about the spirit of peace which pervaded the ancient Olympic Games, as “All creatures of our God and king” gather together this summer to celebrated their athletic achievement in the spirit of peace, concord and inspiration. May we all learn that “All Creatures” are truly welcome, and welcome in peace, and love.

Let us pray
May the waters gathered here at these wells remind us what each of us brings to this community, and of the waters that nourished us before we were even born, that continue to give us sustenance and energy for our life journeys and that of all creatures on this earth. May we gratefully continue to “swim to the other side.”

May the love that overcomes all differences,
that heals all wounds, that puts to flight all fears, that reconciles all who are separated,
be with us, in us and between us now and always. Amen.

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