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Rev. Jon Earls
Robert Munger was in a storm, this is his story in his own words, he wrote:
Being assaulted by winds and walls of waves and a wildly tossing sea was like being run over a train in a dark tunnel. We knew the typhoon was coming, but I for one hadn’t expected it to pack such a wallop. Everything was battened down as we prepared to take a direct hit. Those of us who were on deck had our slickers on, similar to the old yellow slickers used by New England fisherman. Being a novice to things of the sea, I’d hung mine up by a hot pipe a few days before and the heat had melted all the oil from the fabric. Now my slicker leaked like a sieve. It wasn’t much good but it was all I had to wear as the ship shuttered and pitched into huge mountains of brine and foam.
It was fast approaching midnight. As I made my final rounds on deck, everything I saw brought on physical terror. The lights of the ship reflected only a few feet out over the water. Each wave became visible only as it reared to crash. More than once, I thought, what if I were washed overboard while making my rounds? No one would even know. I would be lost forever in a violent, angry sea. The possibility of death was enough to focus my mind. But almost as terrifying as drowning was the fear of falling into darkness and death all alone. No one to see. No one to hear. No one to report. The blotting out of life. Caught. Trapped. Right there in the eye of the storm.
I don’t know what storms in your life you’ve had to face — literal storms or figurative storms. Literal storms: maybe at sea; maybe on land; maybe with the snow; maybe with the ice, – as many of us experienced this winter here in Lexington. Maybe with the rain or the wind, with typhoons or with hurricanes. And some of you, I’m sure, have stories to tell . . . stories of survival, since you are here this morning, alive and well!
Some of you, I’m sure, have stories about being in ‘figurative’ storms as well, some of which you may not want to share or tell. Stories of mental or spiritual storms that you’ve passed through. Related to your work. Related to your livelihood. Related to your colleagues, your relationships, at home, perhaps, with family members. Related to your body, your health, your strength, your mind.
I don’t know what storms you’ve been through but I do know that all of us at some time or another have had an experience in which we have felt our life to be so tiny, tossed around like that little cargo ship in the middle of the wide ocean. Tossed around as if in the middle of a storm that would not go away. With our lives in danger, with chaos threatening at any moment to undo us, to rip life away. Thrown in every direction.
This morning if you have ever been in a storm, or are in a storm, I want to talk to you for a little while.
The disciples were in a storm in our Scripture reading today let’s look closer. . .
First let’s notice. . .
I. The Crisis.
Verse 23 “…there came down a storm of wind…and they were filled with water.”
This was no ordinary breeze blowing-this was hurricane Andrew all over again! Luke writes here that the storm was so bad that the ship was full of water. Mark wrote in his account of this story that the waves were beating the ship that it was full of water. Matthew in his account said that the waves covered the ship. So,
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