What’s not cancelled? Nature,puzzles, Learning Center kids’ activities & cooking, chalk drawing, prayers, LOVE and HOPE!
#1 Mark 4: 35–41 (Jesus Calms the Storm)
That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
#2 Luke 10: 38–42
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Think about the disciples following the direction of Lord Jesus, one evening they got in a boat together with Jesus and paddled to the other side of the lake. Suddenly a life-threatening storm erupted on the water, but the disciples were not prepared to face and handle it, panicking, they realized they might drown and perish. The entire time when this is happening, Jesus is sound sleeping peacefully.
Instead of looking at Jesus’ reaction to the situation/ environment, the disciples allowed the situation/ environment to dictate their reactions. They woke Jesus and begged him to do something with a blaming question saying: “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and calmed the storm. … Then Jesus challenged them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Wow, are these 2 questions also for you and me to reflect and to respond this day?
The Lord’s rebuke over the disciples’ lack of faith wasn’t because they didn’t believe Jesus could save them from the storm, but because they struggled to believe He would see them through all this – does the Lord care about our/ people’s sufferings and dying? When we find ourselves in storms of life and of this world that we are Not able to take control of, how do we respond with Faith?
Here are three encouraging truths to remember:
1. God has power over every storm/ calamity.
If the winds and waves don’t bother Jesus, then they shouldn’t frighten you too much. It is easy to know and say it than to live it out. We must rely on the presence and power of God. You might not be able to change the environment and situations, but you can choose to faithfully trust God in all of the problems and chaos.
2. Keep fixing your eyes on Jesus can lead you to peace.
Are you just looking at the size of the storm and trying to figure it out? Or are you turning towards the One who can calm all storms? What things often distract your focus on Jesus and His teachings? The story of two sisters in Bethany reminds us a great lesson: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10: 41-42) Many things such as work, family events, care-giving, chores around the house, community activities, even services and volunteering at church (like what Martha did: meal preparation for Jesus and his disciples) tend to distract your focus on Jesus and His teachings. Are you worried and upset about many things that keep you off track focusing on Jesus?
It’s only by focusing on Lord Jesus, who knows every outcome and the future, that we can navigate any situations with His wisdom and peace.
3. Jesus is always in your boat when you follow His command.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)
We tend to focus on our fears and concerns when we cannot control our future. But thankfully Jesus knows our future, and He promises to be with you always as you obey His command – to go and make disciples of all nations. So good to know that Jesus is always in your boat, and He calls you to live by faith not by sight. Whenever you find yourself overwhelmed by storms of life, you have two choices: to focus on the circumstances or to fix your eyes on Jesus. If you choose to look to Jesus above everything else, you will begin to see the storms you face are not nearly as powerful as the Savior choosing to walk through the storms alongside you.
Let us pray:
Dear Lord our Savior,
We thank you for the rain from the sky, and for the rainbows that appear after each rain that remind us who you are and your faithfulness, your promises to us your people. Thank you Lord, for each and every day, for every person you put in our life, because they are your gift for us to love, embrace, and interact with. We pray for our country and all leaders and those who serve, for your healing and comfort to those who are suffering and mourning. We pray for your protection, good insight and wisdom as we are preparing to reopen our church and resume Sunday worship service. Help us to stay focused on Lord Jesus and His word, so that we will not be led astray and get frightened by the overwhelming storms of life and of the world. May your will be done in each of us and our church family. Strengthen and guide us so that we are able to serve you and be the light tower for this community.
In Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.
Our prayers are lifted for:
Judy Davis; Dan (Jim’s nephew); Joan Garland; Martha & Dave Glassy; Joan Hassell; Charles Harden; Betty Howell; Crystal (Nancy’s daughter); Sheila Levine; Angela Rose; Jim Rathmell; Frank Seal; Ann Smith; Russell Scheibel; USAF and our Nation