While the writer of Ecclesiastes 9:11 insists "the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong," athletes who won gold at this summer's Athens Olympics may disagree. Sports metaphors, from running to boxing (1 Corinthians 9:26) are found throughout the Bible. Zondervan publishes the Sports Devotional Bible, and organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the YMCA have long histories of linking sport and spirit.
This summer the Vatican joined the game. Weeks before the Olympics the Holy See created "Church and Sports," a department within the Pontifical Council for Laity. The department will relate to athletics from the parish to international level. Its goal? To promote "a vision of sports activity as a means of integral personal growth and as an instrument in the service of peace and brotherhood among peoples."
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