Jars of Clay

Among the many significant football matches that took place over the weekend, there’s one that may have passed you by.  In terms of competition it certainly wasn’t the biggest game played.  The pitch was brown and dusty, and the stadium wasn’t full to capacity.  Perhaps not surprising given that the ground showed obvious signs of bomb damage and riot police watched from the sidelines.  But for this local derby the crowd were as enthusiastic in their support as any world cup team might have hoped for, and while the final score was 2:1, in reality it was a victory for both teams.

 

The match was played in Aleppo – a city that hasn’t seen a professional game of football in five years.  In those long years millions have been displaced and tens of thousands killed and wounded.  But here at last just 22 men running around a field declare that there is something divine in the human spirit that is determined to resist and triumph over every adversity. The Apostle Paul once expressed it like this:

 

‘We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.’a

 

a2 Corinthians 4:7-9

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