as of the 17th of March, the FFA suspended all football and related activities until the 14th of April due to COVID-19 and the government’s response to the pandemic. As the situation develops in severity and uncertainty, it looks like our activities will cease for a much longer period, and whilst this is frustrating and disappointing, in the context of the loss, fear, pain and sickness across the world it is a thankfully small price to pay.
As a club built from Barneys Broadway Anglican Church, in our response to such crises we want to look to the example of Jesus we find in The Bible. Jesus was not anxious about the diseases and ill health presented to him by those who knew of his healing powers; but Jesus did care for the sick, broken, lonely and outcast. He treated their physical symptoms, but he also looked deeper to care for the health of our souls; he called for people to acknowledge their rebellion in turning away from God, indicating that his power to forgive sins was far more significant than that of healing the sick.
As a football club, we aim to point people towards Jesus and his message by the way we play football, love one another and love the wider footballing community and associations we are a part of. Our club bible passage speaks directly to this:
‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’
1 John 4:10-11 (NIV)
These times are extraordinary, and so, rather than panicking and stockpiling masks, pasta and toilet paper so that there isn’t enough for others, we should be asking: How can we as a community of believers and I as an individual help those in need; the vulnerable, self-isolated, sick and dying?
This season will be different, but it might give us unique opportunities to do these things as a club. And maybe, if we practise that attitude now, it will shape our approach to the season if and when it does resume, so people see God’s goodness in our football. These are uncertain times: our plans have been shelved, our workplaces upended, the future seems hazy, and that makes the consistency of God’s promises really stand out.
We will be in touch soon regarding any further information about the season and any activities we are able to engage in to bide our time until the season starts; we’re open to suggestion! If you have any concerns, please contact a team captain / chaplain / manager, a member of the committee, or me directly.