Forty years ago this week the 1974 Commonwealth Games were underway in Christchurch. I was in my last year at primary school in that year, and in the first days of the school year as the games concluded, our school projects, singing and geography was all about the Games and the Commonwealth.
I recall drawing the clever Games’ symbol, a clever red white and blue combination of “N’s” and “Z’s”.
This event was sub-titled the “friendly games,” and the Games’ Anthem: “Join Together” was the most oft heard song. Since I was reminded of it again in this morning’s news, I can’t get the tune out of my head. I even remember the lyrics, and as I sang it in the shower I was surprised that God gets repeating mention in the chorus: “Let sport unite us all as one, in the spirit of the Lord above.”
I’m not sure that this would happen today, since many New Zealanders refuse to sing in English our national anthem “God of Nations at thy feet, in the bonds of love we meet…” At least the more common singing of this text in the Maori language (which few understand) enables us as a nation together to keep praying the prayer without being aware that we are praying!
I think the Holy Spirit would enjoy the irony in that!
If you feel like a nostalgic three minutes you can hear “Join Together” and read the lyrics at this link.