Vicar’s Reflection: Lent 5, 18th March 2018, Passion Sunday
A coach called time out during an under 9’s rugby game and gathered his young players for a team talk. "Do you understand what a team is?" All the little boys shouted ‘yes, coach’. “Do you understand that we work together as a team?”; “When someone makes a mistake we don’t yell and swear at them?” contritely they said “yes, coach. "So," the coach continued, "when the referee decides a point and you don’t like it, you don't argue or curse or attack the referee! Understood?" Again they all said yes. "Good," said the coach, and looking at one of the boys said, "now, Jason, go over there and explain it to your mother." We do get passionate about sport. For a time, it creates a collective identity that over-rides individuality. Amongst many ancient peoples, including the Jews the collective identity of the tribal group was more important than that of the individual. If one person committed a crime or sin, his whole family and even tribe was held collectively guilty and punished. More positively the collective power of a group is awesome and can achieve things and overcome obstacles impossible for an individual. Through our baptisms we become members of the body of Christ, set free from sin and members of God’s ‘team’ which God is putting together for the redemption of the world. A team led and guided by the Holy Spirit and for whom Christ is Captain. This is a team worth getting passionate about.