Even the most devoted couch potatoes like me would have to concede that the past week has provided us with some phenomenally memorable moments of sport.

Just over the weekend, Lewis Hamilton won a record 6th British Grand Prix; Djokovic beat his rival Federer in the second longest Wimbledon men’s singles final in history; the England and Wales cricket team won the Cricket World Cup Final in spectacular fashion; not to mention the ongoing Netball World Cup, the recent success of the England Women’s football team, and Welsh hopes for Geraint Thomas in the Tour de France.

Of course, the glory and publicity these elite sportsmen and women enjoyed over the weekend could only be achieved as a result of thousands of hours of coaching, training and incredible self-discipline, resilience and perseverance. It was perhaps this enviable kind of physiological and psychological strength that enabled Serbia’s Novak Djokovic to take his 5th singles title and 16th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last Sunday. Faced with a 37-year-old Roger Federer, who was aiming to extend his own record to a 9th Wimbledon singles title, Djokovic had to persistently block out and rise above the cheers and jeers of the pro-Federer centre court crowd. But triumph he did, albeit after almost five hours and five sets of play!

It was fascinating to listen to the media’s response to the final with Boris Becker suggesting that now, after 16 majors, people have got to wake up to the greatness of Novak Djokovic”. Historically, of course, there has been much discussion as to who the greatest tennis player of all time is – could it be Federer, perhaps Nadal, or should it now be Djokovic? 


Much as I can appreciate the immense ability of these sporting greats’, I’m afraid the conversation as to who is the greatest leaves me rather cold. What is greatness’ when compared to the greatness of Jesus? Amongst His names are King of kings, Lord of lords, Almighty, Messiah, Redeemer, Healer, Mediator, Son of Man, Deliverer, Alpha and Omega, friend and so much more besides! 

In the age of celebrity in which we live, where sports stars, musicians and reality TV stars’ compete for the nation’s attention and affection, there has never been a greater need for us to intentionally ensure that our worship is focused on Jesus alone. Psalm 145:3 (NIV) says: Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” Instead of being distracted by the idols that sport can produce, let’s focus on the greatness of the one true God. 

I pray for the day when the UK truly wakes up to the greatness of Jesus Christ’, and there are certainly signs out there that this has already begun. Week in, week out, we are hearing stories of salvation, of healing and of lives transformed by the gospel of Jesus. That God is moving in power across the UK cannot be disputed and there is so much to celebrate and give thanks for. He truly is the only One who can save and change lives. 

All of this begs the question, to whom will you and I ascribe greatness? Who (or what?) is the focus of our worship and adoration? Deuteronomy 32:3 (ESV) extols us to ascribe greatness to our God”. Much as we delight in the recent sporting successes of our teams and individuals, there is One who is truly great; and He is greatly to be praised”. (Psalm 48:1NIV)