By Don Liesemer
In an article this week by Kevin Woodley on NHL.com several NHL goalies talked about surprise packages they received at Christmas- For Carey Price it was a set of red Vaughn pads; while Pekka Rinne enjoyed finding new sticks under the tree year after year and on one occasion, a white mask; for Juuse Saros, a set of Sherwood hockey gloves was his surprise. Gifts of pads, sticks, gloves, masks all of which ignited a renewed passion for their unique position in the game.
Many of us have fond memories as well of special Christmas gifts. For me it was the arrival of our little baby, Heidi Joy Anne, just minutes before Christmas in 1983. What joy it was to hold in my arms our highly treasured gift from God in the early hours of that Christmas 34 years ago.
During this season our attention is drawn to another child born, a very special gift given that first Christmas-Jesus Christ- God’s gift to the world. Take a few minutes to consider the words of Scripture which explain why God sent His Son:
“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love-not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:9
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“For you know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He was rich, yet for your sake
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14
While all parents want to give the world to their children- God gave His Son to the world. He sent His one and only Son to demonstrate His great love for us and provide a way for us to know Him personally through Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. Read the following by former NHLers as you reflect on the significance of Christmas for you.
“Through the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ, God now offers mankind new hope. This hope is eternal life in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” Paul Baxter former NHL player and coach
“Christmas is a time to reflect on the person of Jesus Christ, God’s greatest gift of love to each and every one of us.” Doug Jarvis, NHL player 1975-88 and current Assistant Coach Vancouver Canucks
“Christmas means Christ. It’s a perfect time to reflect upon my own spiritual birth-a reality he made possible through His birth and subsequent death and resurrection.” Chico Resch, NHL player 1973-87 and current New Jersey broadcaster
“Because the Old Testament prophecies came true on that first Christmas day I now have a real lasting peace. I also have someone who shares my joys and sorrows.” Mark Osborne NHL player 1981-95 and current Los Angeles Kings scout.
You can experience His peace this Christmas by welcoming Him into your life.