Another controversy is over gay rights in Russia and the fact that the government still openly persecutes people who identify themselves as a part of the LGBT community. Arguments were made that the U.S. athletes should boycott the Olympics because of Russia’s stance. People finally realized that the best way to combat prejudice is to show gays and straights united in the belief that legalized oppression is wrong and must change.
One of the constant images in each Olympiad is that of people carrying a torch. The torch is first lit in Athens, Greece, then carried for months across the world to its final destination where the competition will take place. The torch is a powerful symbol. A tiny candle can fill a room of darkness and make it bright. The enormous Olympic cauldron shines brightly through the entire event, just as God’s love shines out to a dark world.
The Olympic oath says, “In the name of all competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams.”
May we pray continually during the weeks the athletes are in Sochi that peace will reign, that camaraderie may abide, and that the blessing that is sports unify these athletes from around the world. May they do their best, be their best and expect no less from themselves or their fellow competitors. May God protect all of those involved in the 2014 Olympiad that they may Keep Shining!
The Rev. Lucy Blood is past of Union Congregational Church, Amesbury.