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Monday, 19 March 2012

The Secular Society

As anyone who knows me is aware, I have very little time for the soccer type of football (rugby football is a different matter altogether!).  However, certain events and incidents become part of the national news and, therefore, are brought to my attention.

Saturday saw the collapse, in the middle of a game, of a young man named Fabrice Muamba, the Bolton midfielder of whom, I confess, I had never heard before.   He suffered a cardiac arrest (not a heart attack, as some of the media insist on stating!) and, for some two hours, his heart was kept beating artificially.  Thankfully, especially for him and his family, the latest news from the hospital is that there are definite signs of improvement.  Of course, only when he is fully conscious again will the extent of any potential damage to, for example, his brain become apparent.

Apart from the incident itself, what I found to be of great interest was the constant reporting that asked for prayer for this young man.  Indeed, I'm certain that I caught a News report glimpse of a player in a match on Sunday who, having scored a goal for his team removed his jersey to reveal another one that had a number 4 clearly displayed.  A slightly closer look indicated that it read "Pray 4 Fabrice"!

One of today's newspapers reported that: "Bolton's reserve side were due to take on West Brom on Wednesday, but the game has been called off. 'Football is a close-knit community and everyone at West Bromwich Albion was shocked and saddened to witness the scenes at White Hart Lane,' a statement from West Brom read. 'All our thoughts and prayers are with Fabrice.'" (The Independent)

Over recent years, we have been informed by men like Richard Dawkins, that not only is there (probably!!!) no God, but that religion is almost as good as dead.  Mr Dawkins obviously doesn't do any research in the rest of the world where, in fulfilment of His own promise, Jesus is building His Church.  I know that I receive countless reports, from a wide range of organisations, that make it clear that the Body of Christ may say, as Mark Twain famously said, that "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated"!

Here, in the UK, there may be those who insist that we are a secular society, and that religion - specifically Christianity (which is not a 'religion', but a vital relationship) - is a spent force.  The popular reaction to Fabrice Muamba's collapse and hospitalisation would indicate otherwise!

Many centuries ago, Augustine summed it all up, so succinctly: "Thou has made us for Thyself; and our hearts are restless 'til they find their rest in Thee".

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