Thought for the week 5 June – A prayer from the cricket?

Thursday was an important day for English cricket; for the first time since lockdown, a test match was played in front of spectators. It was a particularly important day for fast bowler Ollie Robinson, making his debut and indeed performing well. Unfortunately, it was overshadowed by the news that Robinson had posted racist and sexist tweets on social media. They dated back to 2012, when Robinson was 18, but the damage had been done. He was forced into reading a prepared statement, apologising for the views he then expressed.

There are a number of lessons here. One is a warning of the dangers of social media; once something has been posted, it cannot be unposted. Robinson is not the first to be caught by this, nor will he be the last. It was appropriate that he did issue an apology; most will hope he really has changed his views. But the episode also has a warning for us, there indeed, but for the grace of God, go I. And it’s not just the thoughts I had when I was 18 that trouble me…. I really do hope that my private thoughts, my unguarded comments, those things that open a window on the parts of me I would rather not own, stay private; at least to hearers in this world. But I do need to recognise and own them to myself and to God. This is essential for my healing and repentance; God alone can transform and change me.

Gracious God, you know our every thought. When we come to you ashamed and bewildered by our private words and deeds, show us your mercy, guide us in repentance and bring us to new life. Amen.