“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” — Ephesians 2:8-9
Each year during the second-to-last weekend in August, Hockey Ministries International — along with Hillside Wesleyan Church in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia — host a hockey clinic to show the youth in the local minor hockey community how much Jesus loves them. The clinic allows parents to get their kids some quality on-ice coaching with a variety of former college, junior and professional hockey players.
Joe DiPenta, a 2007 Stanley Cup champion with the Anaheim Ducks, is the main instructor. However, over the years, the clinic has also been blessed to have former Stanley Cup champions Glenn “Chico” Resch (New York Islanders in 1979-80) and Bobby Smith (Montreal Canadiens in 1986) as instructors as well. This event has also had some great speakers for the Stories of Faith and Hockey portion of the clinic, including 1972 Summit Series hero Paul Henderson as well as current Columbus Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen.
This year was particularly special, as the clinic coincided with Cole Harbour native and Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon’s Stanley Cup parade. Many of the campers were disappointed, as they thought they would have to miss the parade because of the clinic. However, it just so happened that Nathan stopped by to pick up the Cup at the famous Cole Harbour Place, the same arena where he played his minor hockey, just as the clinic was going on. It was a beautiful, spontaneous moment and allowed the kids not only to see the Cup while attending the clinic, but to meet Nathan MacKinnon and get a better view than had they simply attended the crowded parade in downtown Halifax.
This rare moment reminds us of the opportunity we have to partake in the celebration of the Champion of our faith, Christ Jesus our Lord (Hebrews 12:2). Although we chose our own selfish ways (sin) over a perfect relationship with God, Jesus died on the cross so we could be reconciled to Him and celebrate His glory for eternity.
This isn’t something we could earn, as Paul explains in Ephesians 2:8-9. We simply have to believe Christ died for our sins, repent of our selfish ways and accept His invitation to make Him Lord so that we may inherit eternal life with Him.
Getting to celebrate with a Stanley Cup champion is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most people, but it’s nothing compared to celebrating eternity with our Heavenly Father. Have you accepted Christ’s invitation of eternal life today? If not, you can start your journey with Christ right now with this simple prayer:
God, I recognize I am a sinner in need of Your forgiveness. I know Jesus came to die for my disobedience. Lord, thank You for paying for my sins. I turn from my selfish ways and give my life to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you prayed this, welcome to the victory parade of our eternal Champion, Jesus Christ.
— Andrew Pepper, Halifax Mooseheads chaplain
If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to