First Word - July


“He’s Football crazy, football mad” was the title of a song when I was young – written by James Curran and performed by Robin Hall and Jimmie Macgregor and the theme tune to Match of the Day. I think we could be forgiven for thinking that the media has gone football crazy with the World Cup competition in Russia. By the time this double issue of the Nar Valley News hits your letter box Wimbledon Tennis will be upon us as well. There is no doubt that sport plays a significant part in many people’s lives. Personally, I enjoy watching Rugby and when much younger I used to Row in fours and eights. However, beyond the immediate interest in football and tennis -the world is still wrestling with matters of justice and injustice, freedom and oppression, peace and war. On 5/6 August we recall the dropping of the first atomic bombs on Japan and how that shaped the outcome of the Second World War and continues to shape world affairs as we pray about the future of the Korean Peninsula. 5/6 August is also the time when the Christian community celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord. It is that moment in the tradition when Jesus is seen in the fullness of his glory in the presence of God on the holy mountain. Luke 9 verses 28-36. It is an invitation to each of us to aspire to our full potential and to bring about change for good in our world – as we hold in prayer before God the disfiguring contexts of many aspects of the world; whether it is conflict in the Yemen and Syria; to issues of migrants and refugees and how to receive them; to the separation of children from their parents in the USA – on the Mexican border; to a lack of respect for the created order and the manner in which humanity abuses the environment. As we enjoy the freedoms and democracy of this nation let us remember there are many in our world who do not and that together we are called to bring about change for the good and the well being of all God’s people. Stuart Nairn.