Colors, Uniforms, and Badges

Photo from World Archery Asia Facebook Page

“To build a peaceful and better world in the Olympic Spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play”

The Mission of Olympic Spirit

An interesting photo and article caught my eye just the other day. One of my favorite sport is archery, and a few days ago, it was the Men’s team final. As expected, The South Korean Men’s team won the gold medal, and Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) won the silver. It was an intense shootout with the South Korean shooting an almost perfect game. During the competition, it was evident that the two teams saw each other as the opponent to beat. They saw the color of their uniform, the flag they bore on their chest and arms, and heard the patriotic slogan they were shouting. It would be a gross understatement to say that they were not on friendly terms. 

What made the photo interesting was that right after the last arrow was shot, right after the South Korean team was declared the winner. Instead of celebrating by themselves, the gold medalists, silver medalists, and bronze medalists came together for a cute selfie. All hostility was gone. They now see each other as humans, as someone passionate about the same sport as themselves. They no longer see the country each represents but as a fellow sportsman, a comrade, a friend. 

In Matthew 5:9, Jesus taught, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” To truly embrace the essence of peacemaking, we must first remind ourselves that everyone involved are sons of God. They are beautifully created by God and acknowledged as sons. I believe the term son is special – a highly esteemed status in the patriarchal society. By saying that all who follow him will be called sons, Jesus was asking his followers to cast away all discrimination that they were holding on to. Paul would later expand on it in Galatians 3:28 that we are to let go of any prejudice as a community. There would be “neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

We are living in a highly divisive time. People are divided by racial, cultural, economic, educational, national, political, and even medical lines. In such a time, we need the shalom of God to reconcile and unite us once again. No other power suffices. As people of God, we must strive to be peacemakers. I believe the first step is for us to stop objectifying others and ourselves. We must start recognizing the distinctively elevated status of everyone we are coming into contact with – sons of God. 

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