Life enhancing God,
Your desire and design for us humans is to ‘glorify and enjoy you forever’,
to live in your neighbour loving way.
We thank You for fierce competition which sharpens skills,
entertains and energises.
We thank You for the ability to see ‘competition against’ an opponent also as a ‘striving together’,
a means of loving our neighbour.
But on our newspapers, radios and tellies
we see the havoc that pride, envy, greed and conceit wreak.
Boots on the football field aimed at derailing another player’s career,
bombs of mass destruction aimed at nations for a nuclear strike,
‘bastard’ chants aimed at neighbours, breathed in and learned from childhood.
And so, the further from Eden we get
the more broken our relationships and greater damage to our souls.
Oh how we need your convicting, cleansing life-freeing competition,
that has us striving together for your greater glory! 


Rev. Neil Urquhart, Fullarton Parish Church and Chaplain at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Genesis 4:1-16

Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, ‘With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.’ 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel also brought an offering – fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6 Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.’

8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

9 Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’

‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’

10 The Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.’

13 Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.’

15 But the Lord said to him, ‘Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.’ Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.