Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sermon - "Who Is This Captain?", by Pastor Ruth Foss, Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church, 7/7/2013

July 7, 2013
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
“Cruising Sacred Waters with Jesus”
Sermon 1 of Summer Series
Mark 4:35-41 the Message Bible
Luke 4: 16-21 Common English Bible

“Who Is This Captain?”

Good Morning…let us be in the Spirit of prayer with one another…

I love spending time having fun in the sun with my family. It is a time of relaxation and renewal. I like to take day trips with the girls and Ray. I think they really make the summer almost endless…taking time out with each other and visiting places that we don’t get a chance to during the rest of the year.

But the one thing I have always wanted to do is to take a cruise somewhere. I think a nice tropical cruise would be fun, just laying on the deck with people waiting on me for a change…eating delicious gourmet meals…what a life…OK…back to reality. Well I guess there is more than one way to take a cruise. People cruise the boulevard in their cars. Some people cruise the airways trying to find a song they like. But when I think of a cruise I think of water. You know that beautiful, life giving water that renew and revives you, gives you strength for each new day.  Sort of like the living water we are given from our Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve got a great idea…let’s take a cruise together this summer. Let’s cruise the sacred water’s of our faith with Jesus.

Ok…I would like to ask my lovely assistants Shyanne and Shanequa to come up and help me. I just so happen to have these invitations that I would like to share. Now…to be sure we have a trusted guide, we are going to be taking a look at our captain for this cruise…our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ…for a couple of weeks and then as we embark on the waters of our faith we will visit a few other ships that He is also captain of. Now…have you all got your invitations? You know…those invitations are special ones. You can bring along a friend on your invitation if you want. As a matter of fact, I would encourage you to share your invitation with a friend. It promises to be an exciting cruise…

First of all, who is this Jesus who is the Captain of our ship? Is He a captain that can be trusted? Does He know the waters well enough for us to be safe as He navigates us through the waters of our faith? What will He do if the waters get rough?  Can just anyone be a part of this journey or is there only a select few that can go?

In the scripture from Luke this morning, Jesus tells them exactly who He was. They just didn’t get it. The scripture that Jesus read was from the prophet Isaiah…even back in the Old Testament, God promised a savior to come. Jesus is the one who sets the captives free from their places of captivity…we are not just talking about a person in prison. Jesus came to set free humanity even from the prisons we make for our lives through addiction, self hatred, greed, envy…the list goes on. Jesus came and continues to come to set humanity free. Jesus gives sight to the blind…amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see…(we see)…we see with new eyes of love, hope, joy and peace when we are given our sight through the precious blood of Jesus. There is good news in the Gospel of Christ…good news for those who are poor not only monetarily but in spirit…those who need hope in their lives…those who need a Savior as well as good news for you and me…all who have that true Savior in our lives.

There is another scripture that reminds me of who Jesus is…it is found in the gospel of Mark, chapter 4, verses 35-41. Listen to the story and hear how awesome our Risen Lord is…
I will be reading from the message bible this morning…I love the title for this story “The Wind Ran Out of Breath”
Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?” Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?” They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!”

Jesus had and has the power to calm the storm. Even the disciples, who were with Him every day, were amazed by this miracle…even the waves and wind obeyed Jesus. When the waters got rough and their seemed to be an eminent doom Jesus, by only a few words, was able to smooth out the waters and bring about restored peace. Jesus continues to do that today. Jesus calms storms of our lives. We too are amazed at times when we face the storms of life and feel there is no way out just how Jesus calms that storm as we cry out in the rough waters as we feel we are sinking. But Jesus also stills asks “why are you afraid…have you no faith?” Maybe…just maybe we need to refocus ourselves…our vision back to the One who by a word can calm the storm. Maybe just maybe we need to recalibrate our sight so that we may see the target more clearly. Perhaps by repositioning ourselves to get the best view our focus object we will see the glory of God.  

This also reminds me of another story that took place on the water. It reminds me of the time when Peter…the Rock…stepped out in faith to walk to Jesus on the water. But Peter…as well as we today…took His eyes off of Jesus and looked at the chaos of the waves around him and he began to sink. As soon as Peter called out for help Jesus reached out His hand and pulled Peter up out of what would have been a watery grave. Jesus continues to do that today when we too are sinking. He pulls us out of the watery grave of addiction, of hopelessness, of despair. But we too need to refocus our eyes on Jesus, the One who pulls us up and sets on firm ground. By the way…Peter walked twice on the water…once to Jesus and a second time with Jesus back to the boat…back to solid ground…

So…who is this Captain that we are cruising sacred waters with? Well…Jesus is the Captain of this boat that we will be sailing on this summer. But…I think that the question is not so much “Who is Jesus”, but “Who is Jesus to you?” Jesus wants you and He wants me to embark on a journey of faith that may lead us to uncharted waters but He will be our guide.
•          Jesus wants to take all of us to the other side ®He doesn’t want to leave us where we are but wants to transform us into who we should be. He wants to be the Captain of our “Charter Cruise” of faith.
•          Following Jesus means leaving the crowd behind ® going with the crowd usually will take us away from the navigation of Christ in our lives.
•          It also means that we will have our share of Life’s storms ®Jesus never promises to “skirt us around the storms of life.” Jesus does promise to be with us always and with the sound of His voice, gives us peace even in the roughest storm.
•          He cares about you and He cares about me ® on the sea of faith, we can always count on the captain of the ship to know the way.
•          He calms the storms ® we have all had our share of storms but rest assured…we will make it through by His guiding beacon in the darkness of our storm.
•          When we are afraid He asks us “Why” ® even the first disciples were afraid. Fear freezes us at times and it is our captain who comes in and drives away the fear leaving a peace that is priceless to you and to me.

So…who is this Jesus? For me, He is the Son of God and Savior of the world. He is the Head of the Church. He is my strength in times of trouble. He is my Rock and our Redeemer. He is my Mighty Tower and Refuge. He is my Lord and my Savior. The question is this…who is Jesus to you? Is He Lord and King, the Captain of your life journey or just the “first mate”?

Beloved, are you struggling in your life and feel that you are sinking? Are you looking for someone who can help you on your journey? Are you going down for the second time and need to be pulled back to the top? Is there a storm in your life that just seems too hard to endure? Reach out you hand…as Peter did…and be lifted up by the One who can pull you back to the top and set you on solid ground. Maybe, just maybe, by doing so, you will find that peace …that eye of the storm…to find rest even for just a moment. We were never promised there would be no storms in our lives…but we were promised that we will never walk alone. Let us cruise on the sacred waters with Jesus this summer together, resting assured that we have a captain that can even calm a storm with His voice. How awesome is that?

Let us pray…

July 10, 2013
Mark 4:35-41 (The Message)
Luke 4:16-21 (Common English Bible)
Matthew 14:22-33
children’s message
We are not alone
by Pastor Ruth Foss
and sermon “Who Is this Captain”
by Pastor Ruth Foss
Sermon 1 of Summer Series
“Cruising Sacred Waters with Jesus”
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
Patten, ME
July 7, 2013

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 37,090+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

No comments: