Hi friends! The 2020 Olympic Games, postponed a year due to the pandemic, ended last night. So, today I digress to personal thoughts and feelings, but I suspect some may share them, so we’ll make a short series of it, and I hope you will follow along! Here we go.
At 8 years old I remember watching the Olympics for the first time and I was enthralled! I wanted to do that! The purity of amateur sports and each athlete competing for the honor of their country seemed the ultimate dream. Times were simpler back then, sporting events didn’t consume our TV screens and athletes did not “showboat” for the camera. The privilege of competing was the reward, and social and political agendas were (for the most part) left behind. In fact, world conflict typically subsided during the Olympic Games.
But, as in all things, times have changed, and years of maturity tend to change our perspectives. Whereas hearing national anthems and seeing athletes overcome unbelievable obstacles in their journeys always bring tears to my eyes, something else brought tears to my eyes over the past two weeks: 1. Athletes who, in interviews or in front of cameras, used the occasion to promote social or political agendas, and 2. the depth of depravity and godlessness on display in both covert and overt ways.
Sure, there were poignant moments to treasure. Underdogs winning medals. Tearful joy in giving it all. Athletes showing sportsmanship and kindness to one another. Occasional athletes giving glory to God and expressing appreciation to coaches, teammates and their countries. To be sure, there were moments that harkened back to simpler days.
In contrast, there were moments of sheer agenda promotion and godlessness. Beginning at the American Olympic Trials, athletes used podium moments to make pointed statements about things such as race and gender identity. During the Olympics, it shifted from podium displays (which may have been tempered by the USOC) to interviews and TV commercials. Particularly toward the end of the Olympics, I became disgusted by the number of interviews in which female athletes referenced their wives and male athletes referenced their husbands. Commentators lauded those relationships and commercials touted everything from gender identity to the BLM agenda. The purity of the Olympic Games has waned over the years, and today’s Olympics are far removed from the values of yesteryear.
But why should we be surprised? The Olympics are filled with high-profile athletes who, by virtue of their athletic success, have a huge platform from which to propel their agendas, and those agendas will almost certainly be perpetuated in commercials filled with Olympic athletes in the weeks and months to come.
Yet, there is another reason we should not be surprised: The Bible tells us these days will come! Yes, the Olympics may be a microcosm, but what we saw played out on TV over the past 2 weeks is playing out in real life as well.
In Matthew 24:37, Jesus warned that the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. But what were the days of Noah like? With the Olympics fresh on our minds, and the idea that we have witnessed a microcosm of the days of Noah, we’ll examine what God’s Word says about the days in which we live. Over the next few days, we’ll consider whether or not these truly are like the days of Noah.
If these are like the days of Noah, it is definitely time to look for the Blessed Hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus! (Titus 2:13) Stick with us as we gather again tomorrow to dig in! See you then.