by Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 2/19/15

Last Friday night, Lucy Jordan, Ginger Gilpin, Honey Miscall, and I spent the night at the church at our Youth Lock In. From 8:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m., 24 youth went on a city-wide scavenger hunt, bowled until midnight, played sardines and other fun games, and had movie time in the Great Room. Special thanks to Lex Horton, Rachel Greco, and Todd Newton, who helped with the scavenger hunt and bowling.
 
The movie the youth chose for movie time was “Miracle,” starring Kurt Russell. “Miracle” is based on the true story of the USA hockey team taking on the Soviet Union, who just happened to be undefeated, for the gold medal in the 1980 Olympics. Throughout the movie, Russell’s character, Herb Brooks, who is a college hockey coach hired to coach the Olympic team, compiles a team of hot-headed college players who have to be broken as individuals so that they can become a team. Against the wishes of those who hired him, Brooks has the guys practice over and over, night after night, and brings all of the players to their breaking point until they buy into his philosophy of hard work and becoming a team.
 
Spoiler alert—the USA team goes on, through insurmountable odds, to beat the Soviets and win the gold medal. Throughout the game, announcer Al Michaels, who loves hockey, is blown away with the way the USA team is playing. At the end of the game, following the final buzzer, Michaels yells, “Do you believe in miracles?” Because a miracle is what it took for the USA to win.
 
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season. As we embark on these 40 days of sacrifice, we are reminded of what it takes to follow Jesus. As we give something up, or add a discipline throughout this season, we, like the hockey team members, must be broken once again so that we can follow Christ to the cross, his death and resurrection. The journey takes hard work and dedication and is not for the faint of heart. Before we can focus on the miracle of Easter, we have to remember the sacrifice made on Christ’s journey of suffering and death. I hope that you are “locked in” and join me on this journey as we travel it together.
 
By the way, I believe in miracles, because none of the adults who spent the night at the church fell asleep. We may have dozed a little, but we didn’t sleep. I can’t say so much for most of the youth. Lock ins and Lent are not for the faint of heart. Do you believe in miracles?