Olympians shine through — God is good, there is hope.

I was so happy when NBC allowed Jesus to have the last frame of their broadcast of the Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony. The enormous statue of Christ the Redeemer is unmistakable on the Rio de Janeiro skyline and they did not ignore it, as I somehow expected them to do.

I don’t know if Jesus blesses the Olympics. Surely he is grateful for them if only because he would like to bless Americans with a breather from their soul-numbing politics. But I can’t help but think the Lord must be pleased with the games, whether people receive his blessing or not, because they show that humans are a splendid creation.

The Olympic Games are a great place to see our splendor in many ways. For one thing, the modern Olympics are such a great piece of idealism. The Olympic Hymn so beautifully sung by children from the favela during the opening is full of hope:

Let fraternity and fellowship
Surround the soul of every nation.
Oh flame, eternal in your firmament so bright
Illuminate us with your everlasting light.
That grace and beauty and magnificence
Shine like the sun
Blazing above.
Bestow on us your honor, truth and love.

What’s more, if you watched the opening ceremonies (between the ads) like I did (well most of it), then you saw the most beautiful people on the planet in their top form ready to do spectacular things for which they sacrificed hours of training. They are humanity in our most presentable shape. Inspiring.

Even the commercials were better and kinder, filled with a sense of camaraderie.


Of course, the Olympics movement is a shadow of the fullness presented in Jesus, arms outstretched over Rio in hope and welcome. We followers also have a hymn or two (or thousands) that highlight the beauty of humanity. Try on Psalm 8 as a good song to add to the chorus from Rio and help focus those splendid creatures on the Creator smiling on their accomplishment.

[The opening ceremonies seem like a long time ago! This was first published in Circle of Hope’s blog]

O Lord, our Sovereign,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.
     Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
    to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
    mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

While you are at it, look around Circle of Hope. We may not be Olympians (most of us) but we are certainly a splendor to behold as we run all our races!

Leave a Reply