Last week, at the 2016 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, the President of the International Olympic Committee, a man by the name of Thomas Bach, addressed the crowds in Rio de Janeiro. Of course he wasn’t just speaking to the people in Rio, but to an estimated 3 billion people. In that speech he said, “We live in a world where selfishness in gaining ground, where certain people believe they are superior to others. Here is our Olympic answer. The Olympic Refugee Team!”
He was referring to the IOC’s effort to support athletes who were forced to flee from war-torn nations—to give them an opportunity to compete, not under their native flag, but under the Olympic Flag. 10 Athletes from South Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will compete, not for their native countries, but for the Olympic Refugee Team.
Thomas Bach identified the root of the world’s lack of peace as selfishness. The International Olympic Committee's answer to selfishness in the world was an attempt to show selflessness as they fund an Olympic team that will compete under the Olympic flag.
But how much will this valiant effort actually accomplish? (Insert Debbie Downer Here) Seriously, though, how far will the IOC's effort to establish an Olympic Refugee Team go in the fight for world peace? When the 2016 Olympics are over and fade into a distant memory, will this change anything?
The words of Jesus that we'll focus on this Sunday at Living Shepherd insist we're no closer to world peace today than we were yesterday. Depressing? That depends on your perspective. And your perspective is exactly what Jesus would have you reassess this week.
Hope you can join us on Sunday to dig into this more!