From the Pastor – October

WE’RE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT – WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?  One Sunday in September I shared this story in Luke :22-25 with the children:
One day he [Jesus] got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger.
They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that
he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”

My sermons in October will focus on Biblical analogies for the church. The church as a boat ride is one analogy that is implied, rather than plainly stated. Our church history shows that we began in a tent in 1872. We can think of it as though a group of disciples of Jesus climbed into a boat with Jesus. Since then it has been a wild ride!

Francesca and I were studying in Israel shortly after a first century boat was discovered in the Sea of Galilee. It was in the first stages of conservation
during our summer semester studying Biblical history and geography.  The boat was typical of that which fishermen used during New Testament
times. It is referred to as “The Jesus Boat” and is on display at Kibbutz Ginosar on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and visited daily by many religious
tourists. There is no evidence connecting the boat to Jesus and the disciples, but it is interesting to consider the possibilities. You can read about it at Noteworthy to me was the size – 27 feet long, 7.5 feet wide. That’s not very big for all those people. Imagine a ship that size, full of disciples, in the midst of a terrible storm? It’s probably why the “Jesus Boat” landed at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee sometime during the  first century.

The boat (building) our church floats in is larger than the Jesus Boat, but we are a small congregation.  (There’s room for more in the boat!). Recent struggles may seem like a big storm to some of our present day “disciples.” Financial issues, low attendance, and difficulty in filling positions may all be part of the storm we feel is raging around us. Is Jesus in the boat with us? I believe Jesus is here.  What would it be like to wake up Jesus in our midst? Romans 10:13 reminds us that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” In the midst of the storms in our church and in our lives, we need to call on Jesus – PRAY. We can try to use our own strength to bail the boat or row to safety, but I believe that might land our
“boat” on the bottom of the sea. We need to wake up Jesus. I’m sure his words would be the same to us. “Where is your faith?”

Faith-In-Action is not just one Sunday a year. As we move across the sea toward the other side we need to put our faith into action on a regular basis. When we wake up Jesus, we realize that he is alive in us. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:13, “I (we) can do all things through him (Jesus) who strengthens me (us).” That’s faith.

Pastor Steve

P.S. Stay tuned! In November we will see that the church is like a human body (the Body of Christ in this world) and a plot of farmland. We will be challenged to be good stewards and we will have an opportunity to give thanks.