A Prayer for the Final Day of the Olympics

Meditation by Rev. Diane Rollert, 23 February 2014

Early this morning,
the people stand in the freezing cold
outside bars
waiting for the doors to open
and the television screens to light up.

Early this morning,
worshipers gather before sunrise
to say their prayers
to pray for team Canada
before the game begins.
Where have all the people gone?
Maybe God is hockey
and they’ve gone to worship
at the altar of hope
that we will win again.

We can level our social critiques
of unjust countries
that pass unjust legislation
to muzzle the free expression
of men who love men
and women who love women.

We can applaud the rainbow uniforms
of the German team
even if they claim it was no commentary.

But when the skiers soar,
when the bobsleds fly,
when the ice dancers glide,
when the speed skaters race,
and the players skate onto the rink
this morning,
many of us must confess
that everything is forgotten.

How strong is this impulse
to belong,
to be part of something grand and glorious,
to want to win.
Spirit of living and dying,
I will say no prayers for our team or any team
but only words of hope
and words of thanks for neither winning nor losing,
but for living and for loving,
for the courage to face this day,
to hold onto what is good,
to make a difference where we can,
to rediscover the purpose and meaning of our lives
long after the closing ceremonies
and the crowds have gone home.