Tag Archives: Faith

Football on Good Friday

The first time I went to watch football on a Good Friday was in 2015 and I was in two minds about going.  I wrote about that in a post on this blog; I said,

“However, I have decided to go and, on reflection, it doesn’t seem so inappropriate. Good Friday commemorates a public execution where the condemned were mocked as they died. The atmosphere on that day was probably a bit closer to that found at football matches than to the quiet, reverence of Good Friday services. So I’ll be remembering the significance of the day in two contrasting settings: on a prayer walk round Harborne in the morning and in among a less reverent crowd in the afternoon.”

There will be no crowd this evening and this time without crowds has underlined just how important they are to me. I have realized that being part of a crowd is one of the things I enjoy most about going to a football game. I do not understand much about tactics; I can tell when the team are playing well or badly but I cannot analyse why. What I like best about watching is being part of the crowd, feeling that just by being there I am doing my bit to support them. Watching online or listening on the radio just does not give me that feeling.

If you want to know why Good Friday is important for me, then you can read a post that I published in 2013.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

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Strange but still good Friday

This has felt like a very strange Good Friday. On previous Good Fridays I have joined in with the prayer walk round Harborne and gone to the service on the High Street.  This year I just walked on my own around the retirement apartment block where I live.  We’ve been asked to stay within the building or gardens and I’m staying home as instructed and keeping 2 metres away from people I see. 

What seems like ages ago, I had planned to do the prayer walk and then go to the game against Swansea. But today, neither will take place.  Back in 2015 I wrote a post about going to a football game on a Good Friday and how I’d decided to go and remember the significance of the day in the quiet, reverence of the morning service and in the less reverent crowd in the afternoon, a crowd that probably had some similarities to those that watched and mocked as Jesus died. Watching the game and mocking the opposition is what football crowds do.

For me this day has still been good because of the significance it has for me. Whatever you believe and do this Easter, I hope you are safe and well.

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Rainbow after the rain

When I set off to go to the game on Friday, I wasn’t at all sure I wanted to go. But, as I was on the bus going to town, I saw a faint rainbow in the sky and that lifted my spirits. I don’t believe that God is a Birmingham City fan and didn’t interpret the rainbow to mean that Blues were going to win. But I remembered that God told Noah that the rainbow was a sign of His promise to all people and thought of other times when a rainbow had encouraged me.

That didn’t stop me worrying during the game. Darren Randolph kept making saves and, until Villalba scored, I was afraid we might not manage to get a ball go past him into the net. I was also worried about Jutkiewicz, who looked tired or injured after some hard tackles. After we went a goal up, I was afraid that Middlesbrough would equalise and sure enough, they did in the 87th minute. Then I spent a couple of minutes in despair that, despite our dominance in shots and corners, we’d failed to hold onto our lead.  Then Odin Bailey scored in the 89th minutes and I only had to worry for 5 more minutes of time added on until the final whistle came.  

It was a fantastic game, with a good performance from our players and from the crowd, with many staying to applaud the team off the pitch.  And Blues are 12th in the table, just in the top half.

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Faith and football on Easter Sunday

A protest is planned outside the Aston Villa ground today but it won’t be their fans protesting about their precarious position in the table. It is Aston Parish Church that is protesting against the timing of the match. The 1.30 pm kickoff means that members of churches in Aston will have to battle through crowds of supporters to celebrate the most important date in the Christian calendar.

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Good Friday

I feel I should write something for Easter but writing about things that are really important to me is so difficult and takes too long.  So I’m going to cheat and just copy and paste a sermon that my late husband preached on Good Friday ten years ago.  He was American so please forgive the American spelling and calling the M6 a freeway.

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“The Gift of Pain” by Dr Paul Brand and Philip Yancey

This book is about pain and its value.  It is written as a memoir of Dr Paul Brand, whose professional life revolved around the theme of pain.  As a child in India he observed pain and suffering as he watched his missionary parents treating those who came for help.  His parents were not doctors but had a little medical training that enabled them to treat ailments and, when necessary, extract teeth.  Some of the treatments Paul Brand watched were messy and revolting and made him decide that the last thing he wanted to do was to become a doctor.

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