In July of 1996, the Olympics were held in Georgia. On July 17, the Olympic Flame came to our town and created wild excitement of huge crowds as it passed right in front of the East Point Courthouse!
The historic East Point Avenue United Methodist Church is directly across the street from the Court House near downtown East Point in Fulton County, Georgia just a few miles Southwest of Atlanta.
I joined with dozens on the porch of the church and hundreds of other people on the nearby streets to wave and cheer as the runner and Flame passed by. It created amazing excitement,
The Greek Olympic Flame mean Citius, Altheus, Fortus! In English it means Faster, Higher, Stronger. The Olympic flame is an excellent symbol of the ability and discipline of human beings to excel by going faster, higher and stronger.
The Sunday morning after the Olympic Flame had passed in front of our East Point Avenue United Methodist Church on it's way down Washington Avenue to the excitement of cheering crowds of men, women and children linning the roadsides, I sat behind the pulpit of our East Point Avenue church as the Acolyte brought the Christian flame down the church center aisle to light the Altar candles.
As I watched the Acolyte bringing the Christian Flame down the church aisle toward the Altar, I thought of the Olympic Flame with all it's great meaning of faster, higher, stronger.
And I thought of the Christian Flame and all its' meaning of love, joy and peace which is still burning with a flame lighted over two thousand years ago.
How exciting to gather each week to celebrate the greatest good news the world has ever heard. The Great Truth of Grace that has brought about graciousness and civility enough to build our great and gracious civilization.
The lighted Altar candle, represents and celebrates the amazing grace of Jesus, who overcame death and lives as the Light of the World!
Jesus is the blazing beacon lighting the darkness of our world with love, joy and peace.