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 world of Sports. If you've missed any, they are available through St Patrick's church (call 3488).
Nowadays, in the early 21st century, figure skating is all about quads. The best of the best can leap in the air, spin around four times, and successfully land on a thin skate blade. Don't ask me to try it! But it's impressive to watch.
But once upon a time, even double-spin jumps were unheard-of. In the 1948 Olympics, Dick Button landed figure skating's first-ever double axel. During his free-skate routine, he glided forward on one foot, jumped into the air, spun two and a half times, and landed on his other foot while skating backwards. The jump was the centrepiece of his routine, and he took the gold medal by a wide margin as the judges were dazzled by this new jump.
Button had now earned a name for himself, but he refused to rest on his laurels. He enjoyed trying new things, and pushing the envelope of figure skating. And so, 4 years later, at the 1952 Olympics, he introduced another new jump, the first-ever triple loop. That year, all 9 judges gave Button first place, and his margin over the runner-up was even larger.
Button performed new, very difficult jumps that had never been seen before. And he dared try them during the highest levels of international competitions. He moved figure skating to glorious new heights of grace and athletic prowess.
Sometimes we settle into comfortable little ruts in our faith. Our Bible reading and prayer life becomes rote and unexciting, maybe it even stops altogether. Or our worship at church feels old and stale. Goodness, as a priest in our little Anglican church, I wear clothes that, depending on what article you ask about, they were the height of fashion between 200 and 2000 years ago!
Other times we want things to stay exactly the same. It's safer and more comfortable that way.
But our creator God is always doing something new. We see that every spring, of course, when the fields and trees spring forth with new life. But God's exciting new activities don't end there!
Listen to Isaiah 43: “Forget the former things, don't dwell on the past; see, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, don't you see it?” God is up to new and exciting things, and wants us to join in the grand adventure of faith. But sometimes we don't want to follow where God would lead us. We already know how things work here, this way, and so we resist God's little nudges.
But God's breeze is blowing all around you. Maybe he has someone he wants you to see, or call, or a new ministry to try. Or even new habits of prayer and Bible reading and Sunday worship to try. Ask God to give you the courage and confidence to try the double-axel and triple-loop leaps of faith that God is nudging you toward.
For St Patrick's Church, I'm Steve Page.