CHURCH NOTES: What we can learn from football’s introduction of VAR?

The new football season has begun, and as usual has brought new surprises, controversy, highs and lows already.

Yet perhaps one of the more controversial elements of this new season is the introduction of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) to all Premier League games, to add to the goal line technology.

If you are a football fan you will either, hate it, love it, or think the jury is still out whether it is good or not.

It has been introduced to help referees make the right decision on important events in a game, and has been used in Rugby Union successfully for the past several years.

The referee is able to stop the game and consult with the person who is able to rewind the event on the cameras and watch in slow motion from a variety of camera angles to ascertain what actually happened. It is recorded on film for anyone to see, and hopefully stop any arguments.

At least that’s the theory.

However imagine if your whole life, is being recorded, but not only your actions and words but also your thoughts.

Crucially also like VAR this does not take into account your motives for making an action or speaking or thinking in the way you did. Pretty scary, eh?

Well Christians believe that the Bible tells us that everyone will have to give an account to God for how they have lived their life on earth, after they die.

Now I don’t know about you but that isn’t something I would look forward to having my entire life played back to me in God’s presence.

While the Bible teaches that it is not our responsibility to judge others, it clearly states that is God’s prerogative to do just that.

I like you and everyone else in the whole of history have on many occasions broken God’s laws, so I know that in such a scenario I would be found guilty. However the really Good News is that Jesus Christ was sent by God himself into the world, to pay for every wrong thing I have ever done, said and thought, and took my punishment by dying on Calvary’s Cross.

Not only for me but for everyone who will acknowledge their need for God’s forgiveness, and ask for His forgiveness and receive, the New Life, that Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead, enables us now to discover, as a free gift from God to us.

My prayer is that when “the final whistle blows,” you will stand before God, knowing Jesus Christ, to be your personal Defender and King.

The Revd Calvin Julian-Jones is minister of Sindlesham Baptist Church, writing on behalf of Churches Together in Wokingham

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