Friday, February 4, 2011


There are passions which stir the deepest part of our created nature. The first two that come to mind are food and reproduction. We cannot live without food. We cannot endure without reproduction. However, there is another passion of our created order that also deeply stirs our being. It is football. Without beauty, determination, and teamwork we cannot endure with joy. Football is our master teacher in the paradoxical study of beauty and determination.

With all of these created passions there exists the temptation to shortcut the journey. Food and reproduction remove the pains of our life. Sometimes we lose our principles in gluttony and lust. Football is no different. We look for shortcuts with football just like we do with food and reproduction.

Do you remember 7 June, 2003? I’ll never forget it. Do you remember Amavubi coming to play in Nambole stadium against Uganda’s Cranes? This week I stopped by New Times and asked for archives in June and July of 2003. The staff wondered what I could be seeking. Then I mentioned football and they started laughing. Our region's football fans will never forget that game.

Uganda shot on goal time after time in Kigali on 29 March 2003. Amavubi goalkeeper, Mohammud Mossi made one acrobatic save after another. The game ended in a 0-0 tie. What was the secret of Mossi’s success?

On 7 June in Kampala Mossi again astounded the crowd. Uganda Cranes players frantically dug behind the goalposts and found juju. The secret was out. For 45 minutes play was stopped in chaos. When it began again, Jimmy Gatete scored the winning goal. Rwanda won 1-0.

The next week on my Monitor FM radio show we debated, “Do the Cranes need to hire a witchdoctor?” Though I argued against witchcraft most of my callers voted, “Yes.”

When it came to football many of us believed there was something beyond just physical prowess and teamwork.

We may make fun of others' superstition. However, it reveals a deep part of our created humanity’s struggle.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique.”

We seek to manipulate the divine by our own creations.

This week at CCR we’ll take a look at an old instruction:

“Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. Don't bow down and worship idols. I am the LORD your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families for three or four generations. But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations. my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations. Exodus 20:4-6 (Contemporary English Version.)"

I hope you will be there to join our journey.


P.S. CCR will start offering our Second Worship Service on Sunday, 6 March at our Four Year Thanksgiving Sunday. More details will shortly follow.

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