Stepping Up To The Ball
Psalm 20: 7 (NRSVA)
7 Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
One of the mantras we keep hearing these days is ‘data not dates’. This is meant to reassure us that our political leaders are trusting in science to guide their decisions. The reality of course is more complicated and every political decision is a balancing act.
Often a person’s actions can tell you who or what they really trust in, or take pride in, and give you an idea what kind of leader they are.
Take footballer Marcus Rashford. First spotted at the age of 5, he clearly had star potential. This was honed and shaped through the Manchester United academy system. He has gone on to great success and acclaim, for which his drive and ambition are credited, as well as his natural talent.
But Rashford doesn’t just lead on the field. He has become equally famous for his campaigning on issues of homelessness and child poverty. Rashford’s willingness to use his position as a platform to, as he phrases it, ‘ask questions’, has not only directly fed over 1.3 million children, it has also brought about real structural change. He is just 23 years old.
Part of Rashford’s motivation comes from the experience of seeing his mother sometimes go without meals to feed her children. He also pays tribute to his grandmother in St Kitt’s. I can’t help but feel that these strong women have taught him to trust in family, in the power of community, and to believe that individual actions matter.
King David too, came from a family of strong women, including great-grandmother Ruth, who changed the attitudes of a whole community through her own courageous kindness and personal integrity. David, like Marcus, was ready to step up to the ball, believing he could make a difference.
God of plenty,
In a world where famine — of the body, of the heart, of the soul — continues to strike us
Help us to trust in your abundant love, and to use that trust to take action.
To refuse to accept hunger, anyone’s hunger, as simply ‘the way things are’
Send us leaders who will ask the right questions; who will put their names and their reputations on the front line for the sake of others.
Teach us to take pride in those whose strength lies not in their arms, or their legs, but in their hearts.