Weekly Devotional Sunday 29th March from Rev Stephen Caddick

Dear Friends,

Our church buildings may be closed, but “the Church” is still alive and active. As we read this together this morning let’s remember we are still a community called to worship and praise. Let us draw near to God our Heavenly Father and pause for a few moments to pray for each other, remembering the brothers and sisters we would normally see this morning.

To download a printable version please click here – Weekly Devotional Sunday 29th

Read Mark ch 4 v 35-41

“Keep Calm and Carry On” this was a very well known phrase used on posters during the second world war. In many ways this sums up our typically British approach to coping. In recent years this phrase has had a renaissance and has found itself onto mugs, cushions, posters etc. I wonder how many of you have something like this in your own home. By and large this is what we do most of the time, but there are times when anxiety and fear can trouble us and even overwhelm us. This is ok God understands, but this is not how He wants us to live. We need faith not fear. Our loving heavenly Father wants us to have peace and joy, He wants the best for us. In Mark ch 4 v35-41 Jesus calms the storm on Lake Galilee, let’s look together at what this story has to say to us today.

Jesus says “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” This is the invitation He gives to us all to travel with Him. To all those who have asked Him into the boat of their lives He promises to bring us safely to the other side. They were not destined to perish in the middle of the lake, God had other plans for them. The Sea of Galilee is well known for violent storms which erupt suddenly. Some of the disciples were experienced fishermen who would have seen many storms before, but none like this one!

Jesus slept, yes because He was tired, but also because He was calm, at rest in His Heavenly Father’s arms, we can be too. As the boat was filling with water the disciples woke Jesus and said “Teacher don’t you even care that we are going to drown?” How ironic is that! Jesus could not care more for His disciples. We think of this especially during Lent as we anticipate the events of the first Easter, and see again how much Jesus loves us, and how far that love was willing to go. God’s infinite care embraces the tiniest details of your life. Interestingly Jesus did not rebuke them for saying that, He understands our doubts and fears.

Jesus then reveals His power as Lord of nature, suddenly the wind stopped and there was a great calm. The wind and waves that crash in our lives are under His control, they will not overwhelm us. Hopefully we can say “We know that you care.” He is Lord of our storms. It is in those times when our own strength fails that we depend upon the power of God. He speaks “peace be still”. Jesus questions the disciples, ”Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?” Jesus did not say “Wow that was some storm!” He wasn’t concerned about the storm, He dealt with it, but He was concerned about the lack of trust His disciples had in Him. The Messiah was in the boat with them, come on, they were not going to perish in the bottom of the lake!

Psalm 89 v 8-9, “ O Lord God of Hosts who is mighty as you are o Lord, with your faithfulness all around you? You rule the raging of the sea, when it’s waves rise you still them.”

God Himself is in the boat with the disciples. We need to cultivate an awesome sense of who Jesus is. The bible describes the Messiah as both a servant and a king. As servant Jesus longs to bless us and meet our needs, and as King He has the power and authority to fulfil all His promises to us. We may sometimes think that our boat is going to sink, but it cannot because Jesus is on board.

Activity For any children and families reading this together

Design a Trust Jesus and Carry On style poster for your home.

Prayer

Heavenly Father you rule supreme over all. We thank and praise you. We ask you to help us in our time of need. We pray for doctors, nurses, and all frontline workers at this time. We pray for all who are sick and for their families. We pray for your blessing and protection upon us and our families. Give us your rest, peace and hope. We trust you and your promises because you are a God who is good and kind. In Jesus name Amen.