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Hope for us all

I wonder whether you were one of the many who found themselves caught up in 'World Cup fever" last month, as the relatively young and inexperienced England football team won widespread praise through their rather unexpected advancement to the semi-finals.

England team manager Gareth Southgate has been an England international himself. In that respect he is probably mainly remembered for missing a crucial penalty in the penalty shoot-out at the end of the Euro 96 semi-final match against Germany, which led to England being eliminated from the competition.

When asked what lessons he has learned from that awful moment in his football career, Southgate replied that he'd learned many things, "the biggest thing being that when something goes wrong in your life, it doesn't finish you." What an important life lesson, and one which fits so well with the Christian gospel of hope, restoration and redemption. The Bible is full of people who failed or messed up in big ways, but who received God's grace and forgiveness and the opportunity to start again. There is hope for us all!

Steve Clark
Glenfield Methodist Church

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