Football, Faith, Hope and Love
I am writing this because as a supporter of many years of my beloved Arsenal I am sick and tired of people moaning about when we lose, draw and even when we win.
Social Media has brought about many good things but many bad things including the ability of people to moan, threaten other fans, and generally abuse anyone who does not agree with their opinion. I am particularly tired of one fan who shouted Christmas is ruined and we hadn’t even lost. I want to win everything but we don’t have the divine right to do so.
Christmas is ruined or spoilt for those who have suffered loss, are in hospital or as a close friend who is awaiting an operation for a back operation. For the families in Pakistan who lost families in bombings at a local church and recently the bombing of a school. Christmas is ruined for the people in the ISIS region where people are killed for their belief or parts of the world where violence exists because of criminal activity or political and ideological beliefs. For those separated during this time as people are abroad helping to bring peace and rebuild societies. For those who are alone and ignored.
I have followed Arsenal since they lost to Swindon town, was in the York end when we lost to York City, cried when t a team of internationals lost to Wrexham. Saw a Double winning side descend into probably one of the worst teams I have ever seen. I have also seen the development of Arsenal from a team who won 1-0 on a regular basis, to rise to the state of Invincibles and win FA cups, lost FA cups and win titles.
I still have the cuttings from papers where I would calculate that if every team lost the last 6 games and Arsenal won every game we would still become champions and of course the famous last minute goal of Mickey Thomas. The disgrace brought on the club by George Graham, the rehabilitation of Tony Adams and Paul Merson, the sad loss of David Rocky Rocastle all the highs and lows but one thing I have always have and will continue to have is Hope and love for my club, to get behind the team whatever the situation.
So why did I put faith in the title-because of 2 reasons, always to have faith in the team but also because as a Christian I have faith which is enduring. A lot of clubs were founded from Christian based associations, Manchester City links to the Methodists, Highbury was bought from the Church of England and so on.
St Paul wrote Faith Hope and Love, the greatest of these is Love. Well at Christmas we are reminded of this and it Is something we should truly believe throughout the year. I also apply these things to all that I do and also in my belief in my football team ‘The’ Arsenal.
To all those friends I have made through Social Media who follow Arsenal but also believe in what they do, writers, artists and just people I have the privilege to share time with via twitter, Facebook and those I meet as I walk through life. Also thankyou to Arsenal for just being there.
I also believe in my family who I love deeply.
May you all have a Blessed Christmas a Peaceful New Year and Come on You Gunners.
Revd David Messer