Good morning, I'm the Rev Steve Page from St Patrick's Anglican Church, and you're listening to the Daily Devotional moment, sponsored by the Hudson Bay Ministerial.
This month, I'm drawing our images of Christian faith and spirituality from the wonderful and sometimes weird world of Sports.
Do you remember Bill Mosienko? He was a little before my time, but he played in the NHL back in the 50's. One night, in1952, he scored the fastest 3 goals in NHL history, a hat trick.
Mosienko was a pretty good goal scoring forward for the Chicago Blackhawks that year. He had netted 28 goals and, entering the season's final game, he was hoping to reach the 30-goal plateau.
Chicago's last game of the year was in Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. Neither the Rangers nor the Blackhawks were headed to the playoffs that year, so New York decided to give a rookie goalie named Lorne Anderson some playing time.
The Rangers dominated the first two periods. At the second intermission, they led Chicago 6-2, and neither of the two Blackhawks goals were by Mosienko, he was still stuck at 28.
But then, six minutes into the 3rd period, Gus Bodnar set up Mosienko with a pretty pass off a face-off. Mosienko's quick low wrist-shot found the back of the net at 6:09 of the third period. They still trailed 6-3, but Mosienko had #29 for the year.
The line stayed on the ice for the ensuing face-off. Bodnar again won the draw, and fed Mosienko down the right side. He slipped past the Rangers' defence-man at the blue line and snapped a quick shot on net. This one also beat the rookie goalie! 6-4 now! And Mosienko had his 30th goal. But more amazingly, only 11 seconds had passed since his previous goal.
Back at centre ice, Bodnar got the puck to the Hawks' left winger, George Gee, who found a fast-moving Mosienko barrelling into the Rangers' zone. Mosienko deked to his left, then banged the puck past Anderson. He shoots! He scores! And, amazingly, only 21 seconds had passed between his first and his third goals. Inspired by this performance, the Blackhawks rallied and won the game 7-6.
Now, Bill Mosienko netted the three goals. But he had a little help from his friends along the way. He could not have done it without Gus Bodnar and George Gee. Three people needed to work together to make this incredible three-goal outburst happen.
In the Bible, Ecclesiastes 4:12 reminds us that “though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. And a chord of three strands is not quickly broken.” As strong as we might think we are individually, our life and our faith are much easier and better with the help of others. God has built us with a need to be in relationship with others. “It is not good for man to be alone,” God said in Genesis. We are made to live and work and pray and cry and cheer with others. Family, of course. Also friends. And our local church. All of these enrich and strengthen our lives and our faith. And we, in turn, help and strengthen and enrich them.
That is my prayer for you, that you will surround yourself with family, friends and a local church community, and that you will know the full and abundant life that God has made us to experience. Family, Friends, and a local Church community – our own hat trick! It might take us longer to create than Bill Mosienko's lightning-fast hat trick, but oh how important it is for our spiritual, mental, emotional and even physical well-being.
For St Patrick's Church, I'm Steve Page.