Summary: This message looks at the lessons we learn from the story of Jesus quieting the storm
Storms of Life 2
It started out kind of petty and ended up being kind of funny.
It was 1978 and I was fishing with my Dad out of the Gaspe Coast of Quebec. The boat hadn’t been converted to a seiner yet so we were still configured as a midwater trawler.
Dad was chief mate; his twin was captain and there were 7 others of us who made up the crew.
It really was a motley group that Dad and Clint had recruited, most of us had no fishing experience but what we lacked in experience we made up for in ignorance. It was pretty sad to start, we were all “learning the ropes” so to speak.
And the Twins took it with a fair amount of grace and patience.
Except when it came to John. John was our cook, he wasn’t a bad cook, but he annoyed the life out of Dad. John had never been to sea before and he embraced the experience with an exuberance that drove Dad nuts. John couldn’t mop the floor he had to swab the decks, it wasn’t enough for him to answer Dad or Clint in the affirmative he had to say “aye, aye skipper”. His nickname soon became “Salty Dog”.
So, we were in North Sydney, and the forecast was calling for a bit of a blow, a captain on another boat mentioned that there’d be no fishing for a couple of days because of the weather.
The problem was that Dad and Clint had spent too long on the salvage tugs where weather wasn’t an issue. Clint decided to prove a point and show the rest of the fleet that you could midwater trawl in rough weather.
And Dad saw an opportunity in the storm, they would introduce Salty Dog to a Nor-Easter and he’d quit.
Well, it was quite the night. We worked on deck in water up to our waist and we caught fish, Clint proved a point, you could fish in a storm. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fun but it was doable.
But the highlight of the trip was on our way back to port. We were pitching and rolling and I was sick, that was just to be expected. Dad and Clint were in the wheelhouse when they noticed that out on the bow, with one foot up on the rail, looking out across the waves and smoking his pipe was . . . “Salty Dog.”
The boat was laid up that summer to be converted to a seiner and John wasn’t invited back but he proved that he loved a good storm.
This is week two of our Weathering the Storms of Life series. Last week I looked at the story of Jonah and the storm he found himself in. And from that story we discovered five lessons about storms.
1) Not Every Storm Is Our Fault
2) Every Action Has Consequences for Others.
3) Don’t Make Major Decisions When You Are in The Midst of a Storm.
4) No Storm Lasts forever
5) The Remedy for Disobedience Is Obedience.
And if you weren’t here last week and want to hear those points fleshed out there is always the video or podcast, both are available on the website.
Today we are jumping to a Jesus story that is told in all three of the Synoptic Gospels, the Synoptic Gospels are Matthew, Mark and Luke. And they are called that because they contain many of the same stories.
So, let’s begin with the Back Story: The story begins with Jesus on a beach on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is teaching the crowds and as they press in against him he commandeers a boat to use as a floating pulpit. I love it.
Jesus had begun his ministry preaching in the synagogue the way it had been done for hundreds of years, but as his ministry expanded so did his methods. He realized that if he was going to reach everyone he was called to reach it wouldn’t happen in the synagogue, because some people just weren’t going to come to the synagogue.
That same discovery was made by John Wesley 1700 years after Jesus made it.
George Whitefield a contemporary and friend of Wesley’s was preaching to the miners, as many as twenty thousand of them at a time, in the open air; and he was seeing hundreds of converts.
And so, Whitfield sent for John Wesley to join him. But, Wesley responded by writing, "I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit."
He was almost offended by the concept of open-air preaching.
Wesley would later write, "I could scarcely reconcile myself at first to this strange way—having been all my life (till very lately) so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order, that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin if it had not been done in a church."