This image of Christ the All Black is on display in Wellington’s Anglican cathedral. It is in the traditional Christian iconic style. The artist, Don Little, said he had painted the piece after wondering if rugby was the new religion in a country that had largely turned away from religious belief. “The word ‘icon’ is being flashed around everywhere nowadays, so I just thought, ‘What is a New Zealand icon?'”

As if to reinforce Don Little’s point of the alienation of most from Christianity, alongside the article about Jesus as an All Black was the reporting of the Gospel of Luke being printed with a Rugby theme. The media called the Gospel of Luke a “Bible chapter”(sic) and a “New Testament chapter” (sic). Fascinatingly, even Catholic News online reproduces the blunder.

I have written a couple of posts connecting to Rugby and religion (here and here).

Is rugby being used in your community like a testament? So that, more than people entering the biblical story, rugby is a paradigm into which people are drawn to illustrate in sermon, pew sheet reflection, and magazine? You may see this as positive, negative, or neutral – but it is worthy of reflection…

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