A Multi Faith Team
There are not many places on this earth where you can look out a window and see people from all around the world. However, as I look out the window of our office from the Multi Faith Center, that is exactly what I see. Right before me are 204 nations that represent the Olympics.
This includes approximately 10,500 athletes, 4,500 delegations, and 160 multi faith chaplains including the Paralympics, representing the five major religions of the world … the Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Jewish faith communities. This diversity if further reflected by 160 chaplains representing these religions, 60 of which are accredited to be in the Olympic Village. Of these 60 chaplains, there are 40 Christian chaplains, 19 of which are international (of which I am one). The others are local from the London area.
It is important to clarify that although we are a multi faith chaplaincy team, we are not an interfaith team. Although many would like to believe that “all roads lead to one place”, there are distinct differences between the 5 mentioned religions. It is important that we as Christians understand the main differences. First of all, Jesus said “I AM”. No other religious leader dared to proclaim that they were the Son of God, but Jesus did. John 14:6 says “I am the way and the truth and the way, and the life, and nobody can come to the Father but by me”. That statement labeled Jesus and made him controversial for history, declaring him either the Son of God, or the biggest liar that ever lived. Secondly, Jesus proved that he wasn’t a liar by the miracles he performed, showing that he wasn’t just any ordinary man. Jesus said and did things that no man was ever capable of, and many people witnessed his miracles. John says this of Jesus’ miracles in chapter 21:7... ”This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know his testimony is true”. Thirdly, while other religious leaders died and decayed, Jesus performed His greatest miracle through his resurrection, building an eternal bridge to our Creator which is available to all. Christians celebrate this miracle every year at Easter. Fourthly, it is not what we do, or how we can earn our way into heaven ... but what He did through his life, death, grace and resurrection that solidifies our eternal relationship with Him. Despite the distinct differences we multi faith chaplains have in our religious doctrine, we all quietly agree to disagree and get along great in the office!
Today we had close to 50 athletes and coaches that attended both of our services, and relationships are already being built! As the Village continues to fill and the Games begin, we expect many visits, discussions, and opportunities to plant seeds. God is doing a deep and important work here in the Olympic Village. I invite you to be a part of ourprogram by praying not just for me but for all walking alongside me on our Chaplaincy team, as we are all dependent on God’s guidance to effectively minister to those that He brings our way!
Worshippers in the Olympic Village Multi-faith Centre
Source: Tumblr Ontheground
Photo Credit: Tumblr Ontheground
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