God is my Director

Youth ministry, movies, no drugs and a variable amount of Rock ‘n Roll

White is the new rubbish

Posted by Martin on November 6, 2006

Well, it turns out that I know more about rugby than I thought. England were indeed trounced by New Zealand, by the fairly resounding margin of 20-41. It was a strange match though – we scored very early on and the referee (French, draw your own conclusions) disallowed the try for no apparent reason – and after that our players’ heads went down and we kept making mistakes – every time the All Blacks scored, it was probably more due to our ineptitude than their brilliance.So should we have won? Well, probably not – to me it looked like the All Blacks were always only operating in third gear, and could have stepped up if needed. As it was, they cruised to victory without losing too much sweat.

Not usually being a big rugby man, I was unaware of some of the attached conventions. The stunned silence around me when I screamed ‘SHOOT!’ at our kicker was testament to that. I also didn’t realise that, unlike the football crowds in which I’m more at home, there is no segregation – they just put both sets of fans in together. This is excellent news if, like me, you enjoy winding up opposition supporters. In this game, it was easy – you just start voicing your disgust at ‘The Cheating Aussies’. They really don’t like that, it turns out.

A good day out, slightly improved by the comical miming of Girls Aloud in the end-of-game entertainments, and with for me, one interesting spiritual moment. 82,000 fans, with their hands on their hearts, singing the great English hymn Jerusalem, so passionately that it would make most choirs blush. I’ve pasted the words of the hymn below – pretty incredible stuff for a crowd of mainly non-churchgoers to be belting out on a Sunday afternoon.

JERUSALEM 

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

William Blake ca.1804

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