The Goodness of God March 22

 

Call To Worship  – Adapted from Psalm 71

Leader: I come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God, I will praise Your                                          righteousness, Yours alone.

People: O God, from my youth You have taught me, and I still proclaim Your                                    wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake  me, until I proclaim Your might to all the generations to come. Your power and Your righteousness, O God, reach the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like You? My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; my soul also, which You have rescued. 

Leader: O God, who is like You? Let our lips shout for joy, let us sing our praises to You.

 Hymn “O God Our Help In Ages Past”

CCLI Song # 43152Isaac Watts | William Croft © Words: Public Domain Music:Public Domain For use solely with the SongSelect®. Terms of Use. All rights reserved.  CCLI License # 2015925

Worship Song “How Great Is Our God”

CCLI Song # 4348399Chris Tomlin | Ed Cash | Jesse Reeves© 2004 sixsteps Music
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Worship Song “Whom Shall I Fear God Of Angel Armies”

CCLI Song # 6440288 Chris Tomlin | Ed Cash | Scott Cash © 2012 Alletrop Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) McTyeire Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)G. Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)sixsteps Songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Worship Together Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) For use solely with the SongSelect®. Terms of Use. All rights reserved. www.ccli.com CCLI License # 2015925

 

Prayer of Acknowledging the Power of God

Declaration of Faith  “The Apostle’s Creed”

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

      creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

      who was conceived by the Holy Spirit

      and born of the virgin Mary.

      He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

      was crucified, died, and was buried;

      he descended to hell.

      The third day he rose again from the dead.

      He ascended to heaven

      and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.

      From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

      the holy catholic* church,

      the communion of saints,

      the forgiveness of sins,

      the resurrection of the body,

      and the life everlasting. Amen.

*that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places

 

Worship Song “I Sing the Mighty Power of God”

CCLI Song # 4046512 Isaac Watts | John E. Coates© Words: Public Domain Music: 2002 Curb Word Music (Admin. by WC Music Corp.)For use solely with the SongSelect®. Terms of Use. All rights reserved. www.ccli.com CCLI License # 2015925

 

Worship Song “Lord, I Need You”

CCLI Song # 5925687 Christy Nockels | Daniel Carson | Jesse Reeves | Kristian Stanfill | Matt Maher

© 2011 sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Sweater Weather Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

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March 22, 2020

“So Who Do You Believe Is Really In Control?”

Mark 4:35-41

 

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples,

                “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”

                So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed).

But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting,

                “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.  Then he asked them,

                                “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other.

                “Even the wind and waves obey him!”

 

It was Jesus’ idea to get into the boat and cross to the other side.  He initiated the journey.  It had been a day of teaching and people.  His concern seemed to be more for the disciples than for himself, to get away from this particular group of people and rest as they crossed the water to encounter what awaited on the other side.

 

The writer makes a point of saying: “So they took Jesus”.  I guess they could have gone without him which happens in another story when Jesus walks on the water to join them.  But this time, they took him.

 

Jesus trusted the seasoned fishermen he travelled with to handle the boat on the water, so he went to sleep.  And all was calm and all was well, until . . . a mighty storm came up.  It was raucous! Waves breaking over the boat.  The boat beginning to fill with water.  And as the water rose and things got more intense, so rose their fear and anxiety.  And Jesus kept sleeping. 

 

Finally they were to such a point of desperation that they woke Jesus up. Shouting. “Hey! Wake up! Don’t you care that we are about to drown?”  I can imagine that they were frustrated, frightened, fuming.  They were assuming that because he was not taking action that they could see, that he didn’t care.

 

This was the response the disciples received from Jesus, he woke up and told the waves to quiet and to stop. And the wind and waves obeyed him.  Just like that. No energy expelled on Jesus’ part but for the speaking of the words. The result was a “great calm” followed by Jesus asking his disciples a very important question regarding the status of their trust and faith.  He asked: “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

 

The disciples now have a moment.  They are in shock and awe and are propelled to ask the question, “Who is this man?” (Which begs the song to follow, but I won’t!). They realize that in their boat is not just a teacher, not just a healer, not just a teller of stories.  In their boat is a person who has power over the wind and rain.  All he has to do is speak a word and they obey. Wow!  As they continued to do life with Jesus, this event would continue to replay in their memories and shape who they believe Jesus to be and what He was capable of doing.

 

Knowing who Jesus is shapes our relationship with him.

 

So what can we use from this story about Jesus to help us in our own walk with God?

 

We either do life with Jesus, or without Him.

Neither is necessarily “safe” but there is hope in one way and not in the other.

 

Traveling with Jesus means that He is present, and we are aware that He’s present. 

It doesn’t mean there won’t be storms, but it does mean that we know he is with us in the storms.

 

Lessons from the lesson:

  • Jesus initiates movement
  • It’s important that we take Jesus with us wherever we are sent
  • Going where Jesus sends us may require that we leave others behind. Whether it be to rest or to engage, we may be called to do something that not everyone else is doing.
  • Know that what Jesus calls us to do he trusts us to do it and is at peace.
  • Going where Jesus calls us to go does not mean it will be a peaceful, easy journey! There will, most assuredly be storms that arise!
  • In the middle of the storm it will be tempting to think that Jesus doesn’t care. That he is literally sleeping through our crisis.  It is okay to cry out to him and beg for his help.  If we follow the disciples lead, it is apparently okay to accuse Jesus of not caring! But mind you there is a sharp rebuke coming because of it!
  • Before Jesus rebuked the disciples he put an end to the storm. He took care of the problem. He did it with a word. Reminds me of the line in “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”:  And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,

      We will not fear for God has willed His truth to triumph through us.

      The Prince of Darkness grim, We tremble not for him;

      His rage we can endure, For lo! his doom is sure,

      One little word shall fell him.

      One little word – “Peace”. The power to overcome the adversities we face as we do what  

      God has called us to do is not in our own strength but in the power of Jesus to speak

      peace over us, into us, through us and to calm the storm raging around us.

8) It is when peace has been restored that Jesus confronts them with their belief.  He asks,

               “Have you no faith?”  It gets back to the truth that what we believe to be true is what                                         we live out. If we believe the storm is bigger and more powerful than Jesus, we will live                                             in fear.  If we truly believe that Jesus is the one with the power, we will seek him out in                                             the storm and cling to him and move through the storm alongside him.

 

So here we are in the midst of a pandemic.  Stormy and uncharted waters to be sure! Jesus is in this storm with us.  Those who believe in his power and authority, who have a relationship with him are walking through this storm with him.  He gives the peace and calm that he spoke over the wind and the waves to those who know him to be Lord and Savior.  Is that you?  If your answer is yes and you are still struggling with fear, check out what you really believe to be true about Jesus.

 

Trusting Jesus does not lead to acting reckless – don’t go licking doorknobs! – but it does mean we, if we’re healthy, risk a visit with a neighbor – from a safe distance.  We can still serve one another. We can still go where we are allowed to go to support others. We can spread peace instead of fear because we know the One who calms the storm while being in the middle of it.

 

Listen to this Psalm that popped up in my Celtic Daily Prayer reading this week:

Psalm 65:5-8 New English Translation (NET Bible)

You answer our prayers by performing awesome acts of deliverance,

O God, our savior.

All the ends of the earth trust in you, as well as those living across the wide seas.

You created the mountains by your power,and demonstrated your strength.

You calmed the raging seas and their roaring waves,

as well as the commotion made by the nations.

Even those living in the remotest areas are awestruck by your acts;

you cause those living in the east and west to praise you.