I promise this is the last of my contributions on the subject. However, if you want more Olympic reflections then you could try the following from Neil Powell, Krish Kandiah and John Stevens.

Towards the end of the Olympics, most conversations turned towards the subject of legacy. What will be the long term impact of London 2012? Will these Games really inspire the next generation of athletes? And will the joyful sense of community witnessed in London remain once the unifying sporting events have ceased?

I suppose a lot depends on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist. I enjoyed listening to a discussion on 5 Live about the longevity of the Olympic impact. Their tennis correspondent, Jonathan Overend, was certain that London would be a different place from now on whilst the presenter Colin Murray said that it would all be back to depressing normality within a few weeks.

I wish I could be an optimist on this one but the evidence is against it. As one considers previous Olympic venues there is little to suggest that hosting the Games has a long term impact on either athletic performance or social cohesion. I doubt we are all going to be hugely positive for years to come as a result of the Games. Indeed a number have pointed out from Twitter comments and the like that British cynicism was returning even as the less than impressive Closing Ceremony was taking place. In his post John Stevens describes the Games as being similar to the football match between the German and British forces in World War 1- a brief respite in our lives that are so often marked by separation and distance from one another. Indeed it is striking that even the legacy question has become a political football with disputes over the Government’s approach to playing fields. The Olympics did produce a delightful sense of joy and unity in the country for seventeen days but what it hasn’t produced is lasting transformation.

To the Christian this is no surprise. The division within humanity is a consequence of the Fall- a by-product of humanity’s rebellion against God that the Olympics actually demonstrated. Human beings are powerless to change that.

So what can? As I indicated in my first post only a new creation will fully embody all the hopes that people are currently expressing. But in the meantime we long for a work of God’s Spirit. I was struck by the description in Isaiah 32:14-20 of a city transformed by the Spirit of God. Only when the Spirit is poured out so that the Gospel of Jesus is heard and believed will a real transformation take place for then people will be united with one great goal and ambition. When you study some of the revivals of the past you read of places where people are excitedly talking together about what is happening- but this produces lasting change in many hearts. So we pray to God that He would work by His Spirit in our towns and cities to produce lasting change.