BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day
© John Denney 3 April 2002
So Leicester Citys wonderful new stadium has got a name. The Walkers Bowl might take a bit of getting used to after over a century of Filbert Street*. Will Filbert Fox trot happily across to Freemens Wharf, like the wily urban fox he is? Or will there be a new mascot to match the new stadium and possibly the new league in the new season? What would we call him? For naming things is as important and difficult as naming babies.
The transport authorities are all at sea. The shipping forecast area Finisterre has been renamed Fitzroy. Lloyds List has started referring to ships as it instead of she. And recently Liverpool Airport became John Lennon Airport. Incidentally, are there any aerodromes left these days?
Weve just celebrated Easter Sunday, the climax of the Easter story. Theres a little footnote in the Bible account. It tells of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus, hanging himself in remorse for his treachery. And the money he had been corrupted with was used to buy a claypit called the Potters Field outside Jerusalem, and it was made into a cemetery for criminals and suicides. And the authorities renamed it Akeldama, the Field of Blood. Its said that Judas Iscariot was the first to be buried there. Just another unfortunate death in the Holy Land.
And over this Easter weekend, things have gone horribly wrong in that same Holy Land. There have been other unfortunate deaths there, and people being horribly wounded also. What the Palestinian suicide bombers think they are achieving escapes me. And what the Israeli government thinks it is achieving by its massive retaliation is just as mysterious. To cap the horror of the situation, the latest focus of conflict is the small city of Bethlehem. The same Bethlehem that was the birthplace of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Jesus, who once wept over Jerusalem, must be weeping over Bethlehem, and Ramallah, and all of the Holy Land.
I wish I understood the conflict in the Holy Land. I wish a simple solution could be found. There is too much history, and too much pride, and too many outside vested interests to make for a quick peace. Only the God that Arabs worship, and Jews worship, and Christians worship can do that. Let us pray to Him for a lasting and sensible reconciliation, for a softening of hard hearts, and a renaming of aspirations.
* On 10 April, just a week after this Thought was broadcast, Walkers bowed to an outcry from LCFC fans and renamed the venue The Walkers Stadium. BORING!
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