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I love the Winter Olympics!  There is something about hearing the Olympic music, seeing the athletes enter the stadium at the opening ceremonies, people from all over the world coming together for two weeks of competition.  The setting aside of politics and disagreement. 

I love the Summer Olympics too but am more drawn to the winter sports – especially skiing and skating.  Not that my downhill or cross country skiing resembles that at the Olympic level.  I’m intrigued by the speed skaters having tried speed skating lessons at the Roseville Oval (unfortunately I wasn’t very fast).

Growing up I took figure skating for five years and dreamed of being the next Dorothy Hamill.  I even had the Dorothy Hamill haircut.  I can appreciate the triples and the quad jumps, remembering how we learned to do single jumps!

Thus the tension hanging over the women’s figure skating competition casts a shadow over these Olympic Games.  A 15-year-old Russian skater has emerged as one of the world’s best at the sport.  And yet Kamila Valieva is caught in the midst of the broader Russian doping scandal.  Should she have been allowed to skate?  Is she eligible for a medal?  What does her presence do to the rest of the competitors who have strictly adhered to the anti-doping rules?  Is she responsible or is it something bigger than her?  When will the whole thing be resolved?

This matches the tension in the text from John 7:37-52.  Tensions are mounting.  The crowd, the police, Nicodemus, the religious leaders have many differing views on this Jesus person. 

Jesus knows that we, like the people then, live in the midst of ongoing tensions.  Jesus is in it with us.  Jesus is offering us living water as we are craving for something bigger than ourselves.  He gives us living water, this love of God, which overflows within us and spills out of our hearts to others.

Let us pray using the words of Philippians 4:7:  May the peace that passes all understanding fill our hearts and minds with Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.