In Celebration of the Season
As the year draws to a close and in celebration of the Season, we would like to remind everyone of Sport at the Service of Humanity’s Six Principles – Love, Compassion, Respect, Enlightenment, Balance and Joy.
We encourage everyone to embody and bring these Principles to life, at all times, but especially this Holiday Season.
The Holiday Season is a time for people around the world to reflect on the role they play in their community and what they can do to make it a better place. It is a time for unity and peace, for respect and tolerance, for love instead of hate, and for inclusion instead of division.
We have been honoured to receive messages and blessings from faith leaders from around the globe. We share these with you in the hopes that they will lift you up, and fill you with hope and joy.
A message from His Eminence CARDINAL GIANFRANCO RAVASI – President, Pontifical Council for Culture, The Holy See:
“When I think of how He came so far from glory Came to dwell among the lowly such as I
To suffer shame and such disgrace
On Mount Calvary take my place
Then I ask myself this question
Who am I?
Who am I that The King would bleed and die for”
“Dio abbandona la Gloria della sua trascendenza divina per associarsi al nostro groviglio di contraddizioni e sofferenze, i suoi piedi calpestano i ciottoli delle nostre strade, il suo volto si riga di lacrime […] La sua nascita nella storia è l’avvio di questa avventura.”
“God abandons the Glory of his divine transcendence to join the thicket of our contradictions and sufferings, his feet tread the cobblestones of our streets, his face is tearful […] His birth in history is the beginning of this adventure.”
A message from DR. HARUHISA HANDA – Chairman and Spiritual Leader, World Mate (Shinto):
“The extraordinary creativity of the human family is within the essence of the traditions of joy and celebration that mark the close of the year in Japan. A time to enrich our hope for the future like many other cultures around the globe. Hope for renewal (even in the darkest times), determination to reach greater heights, and confidence in our potential for good. Appreciation of the other and a spirit of respect and sharing overwhelms any selfishness, especially in this season.
These values form the essence of a common spirituality – and is a reflection of the collective ethos that is ever present in many platforms, especially in sport.
Sport has the power to break down barriers and inspire us to achieve a better world. On behalf of ISPS Handa, I thank those athletes who collectively create this power. We appreciate their devotion and determination in leading our world to a better place. We look forward to being motivated further, both individually and as a society at large, by the indefatigable spirit of these sportsmen and women.
We wish you the joyous spirit of Christmas and our hopes for the new year.”
A message from REV. DR MICHAEL LLOYD – Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University:
“Sport is a playful reveling in our physicality. At Christmas, Christians celebrate the fact that God became fully and physically human in Jesus of Nazareth, which both exalts our physicality and heals it of its mortality. As John Zizioulas writes, “God is the only infinite, immortal being, and it is only by relating to Him that the world can overcome its natural finitude and its natural mortality.
The way we celebrate Christmas is not always conducive to peak sporting condition but may the truth of Christmas enable us to revel joyfully in our physicality, free from the fears of that physicality ultimately failing, which are otherwise very real.
A very happy Christmas and a sporting New Year!”
A message from PROFESSOR SHAHRZAD HOUSHMAND SADE – Professor of Islamic Studies, Centre for the Study of Theology of Religions:
“A unifying and wise national holiday in Lebanon recalls the announcement of the birth of Jesus by the angel on March 25, the meeting of the Holy Spirit of God with Mary, announcing this exceptional event” (Qur’an 19:17). A national holiday shared by Christians and Muslims. The Qur’an, the Muslim sacred book, offers an exceptional reading of the face of Jesus Christ and his birth. Jesus himself makes a greeting and blesses himself with these words in the Qur’an:
“Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day when I will die, and the day of my resurrection. Behold, Jesus son of Mary Word of Truth” (Qur’an 19.33e34).
Therefore, Christmas is blessed and a very high sign from God for all the Christians and Muslims of our world. May the joy of our being able to remember together His name, He who guides, illumines and sends his Word in Mary (Kalimatuhu alqaha ila Mariam), be a sign and source of peace for the entire human family.”
A message from THE REV. CANON DR. MICHAEL GREEN – Theologian/Anglican Evangelist:
“Sport is a magnificent way to serve humanity. It fosters qualities that fulfil human life. Think of the unity needed in a football team, the tolerance often leading to deep friendship, and the faith that it is worth doing and that we will (sometimes!) succeed. Those are qualities central to Christianity, which may be why Christianity and sport so often go together. Christians in Sport and Athletes in Action – both have had a huge impact on my own life!”
A message from BRUCE GILLINGHAM – European Tour Chaplain:
“What links an athlete winning a gold medal with a child opening a present? Answer: a super smile, revealing a face transformed by joy. We can tap into that joy this holiday season as we recall the angelic message at Christmas: “ Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy for all the people. Today, in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2 :10-11)
A message from RABBI CARLOS TAPIERO – Maccabi World Union:
“Each Chanukah, the Jewish People enjoy the light of historical, spiritual and cultural continuity, of the Ingathering of the Exiles in the Land of Israel; the lights of Creation, and of the Jewish Soul. This is a light that embraces Humankind, with its message of truth, love, commitment to Transcendence, blessing and hope for a better future. The ideals of a better world for everyone; a world less obscure, confusing, dull, fallen into darkness. We bring the Chanukah light to try to disseminate light to a world and a humanity in such a desperate need of optimism – that optimism so characteristic of Sports – and ultimate sense.
Let us welcome the light from within: the light of our conscience, of our creativity, of our commitment to our ideals of redemption and reparation.
Let us bring light to the world!
Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas”
It only takes one person to make a difference in the world and in the lives of others. We challenge each of you to be that person this Holiday Season.
We thank you all for your ongoing support, for being part of the Sport at the Service of Humanity Movement and for everything you do to bring the Six Principles to life.
Wishing you all the happiest of Seasons and the very best for the New Year!