Check out Adam Russell Taylor’s piece, “The Men’s World Cup is Part of My Advent Journey. Yes, Really.” It’s a wonderful reflection on how to find hope, joy, and human solidarity amid injustice. Taylor is the editor of Sojourners.
Here are three ways that watching the men’s World Cup is strengthening my own faith journey this Advent season:
- Hopeful expectation. Advent is a season filled with hopeful anticipation as we await the birth of our savior — it’s the kind of expectation that is the very essence of faith, which is described in the Bible as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). But what does that kind of hope look like? Enter the men’s World Cup: I love how so often the World Cup fills fans with a faith in their team that often transcends any logic or rationality….
- Exuberant joy. …In the face of ongoing inflation, heartbreaking gun violence, the threat and impact of climate change, entrenched political divisions and acrimony, and so much more that is demoralizing; we could all benefit from more moments of unadulterated joy. As Paul reminds us in Romans 15:13 “may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing….”
- Global solidarity. Few global sporting events bring the world together as much as both the men’s and women’s World Cups. Through the tournament we witness the glorious diversity of the world’s people and cultures, which are so often on display in the stadiums with various chants, rituals, and national attire; while the games often bolster national pride and passion, it’s easy to find ourselves cheering for nations far beyond our own. The tournament serves as a powerful reminder that the entire world is interconnected and is a beneficiary of God’s unconditional and redemptive love…