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The Great Zamboni

Adam Short on a mission trip with USG!

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow”-Isaiah, 1:18

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”-1 John 1:9

I love Hockey. Always have. Mind you I’ve never actually played and I would be greatly exaggerating if I told you I follow every team. But, despite all of that, I love the sport.

Argue with me if you will but I stand firm in the fact that no other sporting event is better both live and on TV.

One of the things I love about hockey is the playing surface. ICE! In a true testament to the creativity of humans, someone in Minnesota or Canada, or Iceland (sorry hockey historians, I have no clue) decided to drop their ice fishing pole in the middle of January one year and thought that hitting a flat rock with a stick would be fun. And, as it turns out, this individual was absolutely right. Playing on ice truly makes hockey unique among the major team sports. Weather-related logistics and indoor technical issues aside, the playing surface actually changes DURING the game. Is there another sport where the playing environment makes such an impact?

Now I know, the pitch gets torn up on rainy days and there is the occasional blizzard bowl up in Foxborough. Baseball deals with mud. Basketball courts have their unspoken home court advantages. But hockey stands alone in this regard.

Case in point: The need for, and the existence of, the ZAMBONI!

The Zamboni (also known as an Ice Resurfacer) is a vehicle used to clean and smooth the surface of a sheet of ice. Skaters tear up the ice so severely during the game of hockey that a Zamboni is directed to come out between each period to get the surface back to a safe and manageable playing condition. Without it, the ice would be chipped, scratched, dented, bruised, and filthy. Without it, skaters would be falling all over the place, pucks wouldn’t slide straight and the game would turn from a beautiful dance to chaos.

But, because of the Zamboni, what was once broken and abused becomes new.

It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the last cleaning. It doesn’t matter how severe the damage is. It doesn’t matter how nice the players are. As long as the Zamboni is requested, and only when the Zamboni is requested, does the ice become like new.

Sin is with us. It is part of the human experience. Not one of us is without sin. It is like a cancer and can impact every decision and situation in our lives.

It is a stain. It is like scarlet. What’s more, sin is exponential. Individual sins will build on each other and come back to haunt us. It will cause us to fall, it will cause good intentions to go off course, and it will turn a beautiful life into chaos.

We are all chipped, scratched, dented, bruised, and filthy.

Like an old sheet of ice, we are a real mess.

But, there is hope. And that hope is Christ. And Christ is faithful.

Jesus accepts us as the broken creatures that we are and makes us new.

It doesn’t matter how you’ve sinned; it doesn’t matter how long it’s been. If you ask the Lord for forgiveness and repent of your sins, he wipes your slate clean. He makes us white as snow.

Christ died so we could live. Christ suffered so that our sins would be forgiven. He did the hard part. All we have to do is take our sins to him and he will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And like the skater back on a fresh sheet of ice, without the burden of sin, we can really fly.


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