Summary: Takes three aspects of the game of ice-hockey and finds bible messages in them. This sermon was given to a mainly unbelieving group of ice-hockey supporters of The Sheffield Steelers Ice Hockey Club, United Kingdom.
This sermon was given to a mainly non-Christian group of ice hockey fans in 25th January 2001. It was very different to the sermons given in Church to seekers or believers.
I found this sermon difficult to write and indeed the delivery went slightly away from this script as the Spirit lead me. I would appreciate if seasoned pastors and preachers would e-mail me with opinions as to how I can tackle the opportunity to preach the gospel to people who are not even seeking Christ in their lives.
You could be forgiven for thinking that a Christian message could not possibly be connected to the sport of ice hockey, but Jesus is everywhere for those who look for Him.
But phrases like “turn the other cheek” somehow don’t seem to fit when your opponents goon enforcer has just high-sticked you in the face and is now roughing you up.
Nowhere in the bible does it mention the subject of ice hockey. When Moses lead the Isrealites out of Egypt to the promised land the Red Sea parted and they walked across – It did not freeze over so that they could skate across with the opportunity for a game of hockey - No!
And the bible clearly states that Jesus walked on water. I know that hockey players skate on frozen water but the Sea of Galilee is in a hot country and almost without doubt it never froze over.
Jesus didn’t play ice hockey and the 12 disciples would have been a short bench anyway with the resulting fine from the League. So you may wonder what ice hockey and the bible could possibly have in common.
But there are a few similarities between the game and the teachings of Jesus – the Christian Message. And these are good teachings for the way we live our lives. So if you can’t remember the words from the bible if you remember these hockey illustrations it will help you.
Some people think that you can’t listen to a Methodist preacher without him harping on about Sin. Well it’s not really the case but I’d hate to disappoint you and so I shall mention it today.
Now in ice hockey the sinning is called fouling and when you make a foul you get sent to the penalty box for 2 minutes, 5 minutes for a really bad foul and if you persist or argue with the referee then you may get another 10 minutes for misconduct. But in the norm it’s 2 minutes.
And after 2 minutes your sins are forgiven and you are back in the game.
BUT, How many times does someone foul us in our lives and instead of forgiving them after 2 minutes we bear the grudge for hours, days, weeks, years even.
Husband forgets your birthday and he’s in the penalty box for days.
Opposition’s goon splats you against the boards - 2 minutes. Loved member of your family says something out of turn and gets 2 weeks.
In your life is someone sitting in the penalty box? I reckon that 2 minutes is long enough. - Isn’t it time to forgive them yet? Why not let them back onto the ice. A Bit of forgiveness.
In the Lord’s prayer we ask for our sins (or trespasses) to be forgiven AS WE FORGIVE those who sin against us. It all starts with US forgiving. Open that door and let whoever it is sitting in your penalty box back into your life.
Question:- Who is the best referee in the League? Answer: Yes that’s a trick question they are all as bad as each other! They make mistakes don’t they.
Paul Beraldo gets sticked behind the knee and is laid up for months – How does the referee judge it? " I SAW NOTHING "
Then one of our forwards does absolutely nothing and he blows a penalty - 2 minutes power play and we’re a goal down before you know it!
The blind man passing by on a galloping horse can spot these refereeing mistakes sometimes. They always seem to foul up their judgment of the game.
NOW THERE LIES A LESSON for our lives.
We see that when people stand in judgment they get it wrong and really upset everyone. Yet how many times do we judge others on this and that.
I just wonder if we are making the same hash of it that the referees make. I.E. we don’t always get it right.
Perhaps we should follow the words from LUKE’S gospel (Luke 6 verse 37) “DO NOT JUDGE and you will not be judged and DO NOT CONDEMN and you will not be condemned”
In hockey we are all very interested in statistics and we write them down in the match night program in the little boxes.