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Weekly Reflection - It's coming home...

9 July 2021

Revd Canon Peter Farley-Moore

This Sunday it won’t only be the nation’s cathedrals singing their usual anthems; the crowds at Wembley will be singing anthems of joy and celebration too. After decades of waiting for our national team to be in the final of an international competition, this popular English anthem is surely on the minds of many, football fans or not; its catchy tune and easy lyrics are difficult to avoid as the eagerly anticipated Euro final draws near.

The anthem’s theme is homecoming. Whatever we feel about the validity of the football anthem’s message, it surely reveals that the sense of longing for “home”, a place to belong, is a human instinct and desire that is deep within our psyche. “Coming home” is about being reconnected and reunited with our roots, with loved ones; a desire for life to get back to how it should be, how we remember it, or how we want to remember it to have been.

The message of the anthem chimes with our Christian faith in a story like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). In this famous parable of Jesus he describes the long wait of a Father who’s son has been estranged. Day after day he waits for his son to return home – you might like to imagine him chanting his version of the England anthem as he waited?! Eventually the son comes home and a celebration is had, the fattened calf is roasted, it’s time to party.

For Jesus, that parable reflects the joy and celebration of heaven when we turn to God in repentance and faith, when we return to our spiritual home and receive the love of God.

If like me, you find yourself in silent moments with “Its’ coming home” ringing in your ears – enjoy this moment in our nation’s footballing history and pause to consider the deeper homecoming that Jesus was talking about. Maybe there is someone God wants you to pray for, that the deepest joy of a spiritual homecoming will be theirs.

A prayer for the Euros

Dear Lord,

We pray for all the teams, fans and everyone involved in the Euro 2020 tournament.
May they be guided by Your strength and understand that through highs and lows You are always alongside them.
We thank You for the opportunity of uniting through sport and team spirit.
In Jesus' name,

Amen.

(Premier Christian News)

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