Greetings Liberty family & friends
In a familiar and yet, still phenomenal, scene from the Gospels, a furious storm threatened to capsize a sailing vessel on the Sea of Galilee. Panic spread rapidly as the turbulent sea splashed across the faces of fishermen who knew how futile it would be to try to fight the sea.
Adding to their fright was a sense we can all understand: a contradiction in what they had expected from God.
Of all the times one would expect God’s direct attention, it’s when crisis sweeps in suddenly. Don’t we feel that way too?
And yet, Matthew writes that “the boat was being swamped by the waves; but Jesus was asleep”! (Matthew 8:24)
What a scene! The living King of glory, God’s only begotten Son, was the One person in that storm-tossed boat who could save anyone’s life at that point. But there He was, sound asleep in a crisis that had everyone else at their wits’ end. With fear rising to a crescendo all around Him, Jesus appeared to be oblivious to the peril his men were facing.
Shouts of “Lord, save us!” awakened Jesus and gave us a question that still rings true when we’re wondering what God sees in our situation.
It’s a “Why” question that reaches each of us when we’re scared by howling winds around us: “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:24)
We know instantly why no disciple could answer that question! Looking Jesus in the eyes, each of them knew instantly that His presence was enough. But their emotions (just like ours) are usually speedier than faith! We snap into the fear instinct so quickly that it becomes essential for us to listen to His Word, learn from walking with Jesus and lean into Him with expectancy whenever we feel swamped by our circumstances.
Swiftly, then, Jesus turned to the very winds that scared them – and rebuked the violent storm. Exercising supreme authority over the turbulent waters, Jesus created what the Gospel-writer Matthew calls “a great calm.” (Matthew 8:26)
Crisis moments stir deep emotions in every soul. As suddenly as a squall on the Sea of Galilee can arise, so do the storms of anxiety, stress, conflict, perplexity or loss.
We can be sure that faith, anchored in the Person of Jesus, will always prevail. So, when we feel torn by a crisis, our souls can learn to embrace this simple assurance: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). Worship is not only defined by the songs we sing but by the responses we bring to what God actually does. That Sea of Galilee scene calls us to behold Christ Jesus in-person, in real life, in our troubled world. Just like those startled disciples, we too may bow in wonder before Him, knowing the answer to the question they asked among themselves: “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
The word of the Lord that stilled that raging storm was far more than a miracle for that dark night. It was the gift of Jesus for the tense and troubled times we face today. That gift, though, also carries the Lord’s question, “Why are you so afraid?”. It’s a revealing question that aims us back to His promise that “I am with you always even until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:21)
We hope you can join us tomorrow for worship as we wrap up a busy and beautiful October together. We’re grateful for each Cafe Liberty volunteer, preparing our warm welcome, as we greet between 9:45 and Worship @ 10:15 AM.
One of many bright blessings of this fall season has been the generous gift(s) of time, attention and volunteer labor that new members have given to tasks here at church. We deeply appreciate each of these endeavors.
With tomorrow’s Kids Church Mission Sunday (10/29) we also want to thank those whose love offerings for Operation Christmas Child help make this exciting session for Kids Church possible. Plus, we welcome everyone to pick up an Operation Christmas Child carton and participate from your own home or office. (Information on the Connections Table puts this mission well within reach of any family, couple, single, teen or senior giver)
With prayer reminder bookmarks from Challenge Farm last Sunday, we invite you all to keep in prayer the need for new sponsors. The monthly support via sponsorship is an essential part of the long-term spiritual and financial support for the on-site room and board costs and the academic and spiritual growth programs for kids and teens. Four current students needing sponsors are included on the hand-out card (on the Challenge Farm table). To learn more, take and share any of the free items on the table or visit their website for more photos and updates. Here’s that link: https://www.challengefarm.org/
And now, a special request: If you haven’t yet signed up for the Gratitude Dinner next Saturday, November 4th (5:00 PM), please do so tomorrow at the Connections Table or via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to add your RSVP to help event coordinators making meal plans.
Also, looking ahead: On Saturday November 18th, the next Liberty Ladies Ministry event is at 10:00 AM (note the time change from my prior email update)
It’s such a pleasure to hear from those who join with us via live-stream. Here are the links to go directly to either of the following:
View the service live online
Listen to past services
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem so the LORD surrounds His people,
both now and forevermore.”
(Psalm 125:2 NIV)