Below is a Saturday Thought article of mine written for the Plymouth Herald local paper, published on Saturday 5th June 2010.
In the 2002 World Cup Final between Brazil and Germany, the Brazilian superstars of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho easily outclassed a weak German side winning the game 2-0. At the final whistle, before going to their fans, lifting the trophy, or celebrating, Brazilian captain Lucio gathered his team mates around him where they knelt in a circle on the pitch and prayed. He then took off his yellow strip to reveal a T-shirt bearing the slogan “I love Jesus”.
Lucio has everything going for him in life. He has reached the pinnacle of his chosen career, winning four league titles, the Champions League and the World Cup in 2002. He has a loving marriage, three young children and he is very well paid. In our culture of celebrity where footballers are routinely placed on metaphorical pedestals and worshipped as gods, you might think that Lucio’s life was complete and fulfilled and that he had no need for God. Yet he chooses to worship God through Jesus.
As humans we are created ‘in the image of God’ (Gen 1:27). We were created by God, to know God and to be a little bit like God. This is why we have an inbuilt sense of justice and morals and a longing for loving relationships with others – these are characteristics of God which have been imprinted on us by Him. It follows, therefore, that since we are made to be with God, no amount of good things such as family, money or celebrity, will completely fulfil us. We will always experience an emptiness unless we relate to the One who created us. The early church leader, St. Augustine, rightly commented that “our hearts are restless, O God, until they rest in you”.
“Anyone who thinks that he has everything and doesn’t have Jesus doesn’t have anything. I think the person who has everything is the one who has Jesus. He has happiness and peace. With Jesus in your heart you need have no fear. That is the person who has everything in life.”