Summary: The third in my series on the Winter Games, looks at the things in our Christian Walk that we need to as a team.
Of all the events of the winter Olympics and there are 15 main events in all, plus their sub events, there is one event that seems to spark our country’s collective psyche like none other and that is the Men’s Hockey. From the choice of the 1980 American Hockey Team for lighting the flame this year I’d say that Canadians aren’t the only ones obsessed with hockey. Hockey was first introduced to the Olympics in 1920 and was won by the Canadian Team, of course. Canada continued to win every Gold until 1952 with the exception of 1936 when a British team made up primarily of Canadian residents born in Britain won the Gold. That all changed in 1956 when the Russians entered the games. Our last Gold medal in hockey was 50 years ago, and if we don’t start playing better then we did on Friday night it might be another 50 years before we see gold again. (In Hind sight you realize that we started to play better and won not only the Men’s Gold but also the Women’s)
The stereotypical Canadian is a Hockey Fan, we are supposed to eat sleep and drink hockey which isn’t always the case, not everyone north of the 49th is a Hockey fan. But here is a check list to find out if you are, ready you might be a hockey fan if:
You know you’re a hockey fan if.....
1. You punish your kids with "minors," "majors," and "misconducts."
2. When you come to a traffic signal and the light turns red, you get really excited and start cheering.
3. You consider the Forum in Montreal a place of worship.
4. You keep a picture of the Stanley Cup in your wallet in front of the picture of your family.
5. Instead of duct tape, you use hockey tape to fix everything.
6. You call a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame a "pilgrimage."
7. You think the Canadian National Anthem is the theme from "Hockey Night in Canada."
8. You send Gordie Howe a birthday card, yet you can’t even remember your own family members’ birthdays.
9. All your kids are either named Gordie, Bobby or Wayne.
10. You went to see "West Side Story" because you thought it was about a game between Winnipeg and San Jose.
11. When someone refers to "The Classics," you think they’re talking about the Original Six.
12. Every time you hear a siren you wonder who scored.
13. Every time you see the name "Roy" you automatically pronounce it "Wah."
14. Everything in your wardrobe is your team’s colors.
15. You think the proper way to spell the plural of "leaf" is "leafs."
Last week I spoke about Alpine Skiing and how that was a solo sport and then I used that analogy in describing various aspects of our Christian experience that we are responsible for on our own. How we are responsible for our own Salvation, for our own obedience, our own attitudes and our own witness.
And as much as Alpine Skiing is a solo sport, Hockey is a team sport. Hockey games will never be won and lost on the strength of a single superstar. Probably the greatest example of that would be the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky. Undoubtedly the greatest hockey player to ever play he led the Edmonton Oilers to 5 Stanley Cups between 1984 and 1990. However as great as he was he was unable to deliver the cup to either LA or New York in the years to follow. Concerning Basketball Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made this statement: “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.” And in Baseball it was Babe Ruth who said “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” Although the sports are different the sentiment is the same: great individuals don’t win great, teams do. And so this morning we are going to look at the things we need to do together. Let’s start by making sure that we are all playing on the same team.
Three questions: Who’s your owner? Every hockey team has an owner, even in the Olympics where every thing is supposed to be non commercial and amateur there has to be someone who puts up the cash. That’s the sponsoring country. If you are a Christian you have an owner as well and it is God. The scriptures tell us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.