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I confess it took me a while to discover the NHL after we came to Canada over 20 years ago. But for a long while now I have followed with keen interest the ups, and mainly downs, of the Vancouver Canucks. When Bruce Boudreau (the former coach) was hired last season things got better and the crowd started the chant ‘Bruce there it is’ when things were going well. Aside from some great games, this season has not gone well … but that is not my point.

It seems to me that a hockey coach is a leader of a group of players whose role is to mold them to be the best they can be. A hockey coach (in some circumstances) can also be a life coach. Someone who inspires both players and fans to stick with the team, someone who inspires you to do your best in spite of tough and difficult circumstances. Someone who keeps going and keeps trying in spite of the odds. 

In life we face joys and sorrows. We enjoy good times and face adversity. We are appointed to jobs and sometimes we lose them. Many of our congregation had to give up their homes, their work and their families and friends, to try and make a new life in Canada. Others in the congregation face other great life challenges … ill health, heartbreak and the loss of beloved family and friends. Following Christ enables us to carry on in all, and every, circumstance, knowing we are never alone, that we always have Christ at our side, with us in every moment. Also as part of a congregation we have one another. We can’t stop awful and difficult things from happening but we can carry on when we are accompanied by Christ (the one who never gives up) and with one another, as we walk together and be there for each other through the best of times, as well as the worst of times. 

As for Bruce Boudreau, he seems to be a person of integrity who supported his players and the support staff through some pretty tough times. His passion for hockey and for trying to make things work is an inspiration.

Living the Christian life requires patience, faithfulness, dedication and a passion for Christ, the church and the people. As we follow Christ we have our role model, we have our inspiration who guides us on through whatever befalls us in life. Always we are called and encouraged to carry on, to make the very best of things every day of our lives, to make a difference in the lives of others, to follow the one, in whose name we meet, Jesus Christ.