Case Family in Hong Kong

Pray4HK – Rugby Sevens

Posted in Pray4HK by jpcase01 on March 23, 2012

The Hong Kong Sevens is considered the premier tournament in rugby sevens. The event is held annually on the last weekend of March in Hong Kong, commencing on a Friday afternoon, and concluding on the Sunday evening. The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is traditionally the biggest event on the Hong Kong sporting calendar. As such, there is a tremendous party atmosphere, with the involvement of the entire rugby-playing community. For spectators, there is a particular emphasis on the South Stand, where hordes of rugby fans dress up and dance for most of the duration.

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever. Ps. 30:11-12

A great sporting event can resemble religious worship in many ways. People dress up in common clothing and gather at a particular time to celebrate together in a similar place. Common songs are sung and a common phrases spoken, people share in common drink. People think on the event months before and hope to will their team to win by their support. People experience the joy of victory and the misery of defeat vicariously through seven men playing sport on a field.

Father, help us to remember that Jesus is the real Lord of the Dance. You’re the only one who can turn the wails of our sin and brokenness into the dance of hope and joy. You’re the only one merciful and mighty enough to replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh. By your cross, you’ve removed the filthy garments of unrighteousness that we might be clothed with the white robe of your own righteousness. Astounding . . . astonishing . . . and so very true.

How can we not sing and make music to you in our hearts? How can we possibly remain silent and still, in response to who you are and everything you’ve done for us, Jesus? Forgive us when we, like the elder brother, remain smugly on the outside of the house of redemption—off the dance floor of your reconciling love (Luke 15:25).Cause us to hear the Father speaking to us right now: “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours” (Luke 15:31).

Indeed, Lord, forgive us for confusing reverence with rigor mortis. Forgive us for giving you ardor-less order when we worship you. Forgive us for living more by our temperament tests, Myers-Briggs profiles, and personality types than by the lyric, music, and dance of the gospel. Free us from giving you a measured response to a measureless gospel.

One day, King Jesus, we will give thanks to you with all our might. All personal inhibitions, cultural limitations, and ecclesiastical prohibitions will be gone. May that great day of liberation have much greater impact on this day’s celebration. So very Amen we pray in your grace-filled and  gladsome name.

(Intro from Wikipedia, Photos from Flickr, Prayer adapted from Scotty Smith)

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