Sharing God's Love
As I write this the days are drawing in, the weather is changing, and we are entering the darker winter months of the year. It is in this month of November that we often look back and remember the warmer lighter months that have gone before. We may remember spending time with friends and family, and I expect this year we are remembering the times before the Covid-19 pandemic when our lives were without restrictions. We may also look back and remember missed opportunities or times when life has been difficult. The times when our lives have been battered and tested by the storms of life. Times when our faith can be tested too.
In the church’s year we also enter a time of remembering. On All Souls and All Saints Day we remember those who have died amongst our own families, friends and in the community. We all remember in different ways, with our own memories, and it can be a difficult time for many as they remember those they have loved and lost. November also brings Remembrance Sunday where we remember those who have given their lives for our freedom and for peace in the world. In our lives, and in our community and nation, we do a lot of remembering.
Whilst thinking about remembering, I was recently reminded of this analogy – that while we are often facing the same storms in life, we are doing so in different boats. Some of us have yachts, others canoes. Some have substantial crew on board, others are rowing alone. Some have life jackets such as strong relationships or good health while others don’t even have a working rudder. Many of us will sail through the next storm and our remembering, strong in faith and with support around us. So when we see someone struggling, it is worth thinking what sort of boat they have to help them sail through the storm – and what sort of help we can give them.
In Luke’s gospel (Luke 8: verses 22 – 25) we hear of Jesus’ disciples weathering a storm.
'One day he 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 gale 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?’
We all have
times in our lives when we get buffeted by the storms of life, by our memories,
and it is comforting that even the disciples had crises of faith, times when
they didn’t have belief in Jesus’ power.
They had already seen him perform miracles of healing, listened to his teaching and seen the effect he had on the people who came to listen to him. Yet in their little storm-tossed fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee they were afraid and did not believe that Jesus would keep them safe. But He did and He will be in our storm-tossed boat as well if we ask Him in.
I would like to thank you all for the warm welcome to Marden. We are settling well into the Vicarage and your cards, delicious cakes and words of welcome at the door or in the village have really made us feel at home. Thank you.