In a world where we can feel like we are tossed to and fro by hurricane force winds, here are a few words from scripture, a prayer and a poem to carry us through this Sunday, ending with a link to song of hope.
God’s love in a storm
Psalm 107: 23-32 (from The Message)
Some of you set sail in big ships;
you put to sea to do business in faraway ports.
Out at sea you saw God in action,
saw his breathtaking ways with the ocean:
With a word he called up the wind—
an ocean storm, towering waves!
You shot high in the sky, then the bottom dropped out;
your hearts were stuck in your throats.
You were spun like a top, you reeled like a drunk,
you didn’t know which end was up.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
he got you out in the nick of time.
He quieted the wind down to a whisper,
put a muzzle on all the big waves.
And you were so glad when the storm died down,
and he led you safely back to harbor.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
Lift high your praises when the people assemble,
shout Hallelujah when the elders meet!
Jesus stops a storm
Mark 4:35-41 (from the Common English Bible)
Later that day, when evening came, Jesus said to them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” They left the crowd and took him in the boat just as he was. Other boats followed along.
Gale-force winds arose, and waves crashed against the boat so that the boat was swamped. But Jesus was in the rear of the boat, sleeping on a pillow. They woke him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re drowning?”
He got up and gave orders to the wind, and he said to the lake, “Silence! Be still!” The wind settled down and there was a great calm. Jesus asked them, “Why are you frightened? Don’t you have faith yet?”
Overcome with awe, they said to each other, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”
Battle Song – a poem from Madison’s Sarah Allen – You can read it here.
Prayer from afar
A prayer from Eugene Cho, founder and executive director of One Day’s Wages, lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle.
Lord God, In our coming and going throughout this day and weeks to come, help us to pause, remember, lift, and pray for those in harm’s way.
We pray for those impacted by quakes, hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires. For those in Mexico, Houston and Texas, the Caribbean islands and nations, Florida, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, and the Northwest.
We pray for those who are fleeing away from persecution, oppression, and violence. We pray for the Rohingya people as they flee for their lives. We pray for refugees throughout the world who long for peace and to return to their homes.
We pray for those who are fearful and anxious about the repeal of DACA. We pray for the home-less in our neighborhoods and cities. Forgotten veterans, single moms and parents; Orphans and widows. We pray for teenagers and adults alike who are contemplating self-harm or the taking of their lives. Lord, give us eyes to see that each person is created in your image.
As we pray, please expand our heart for our neighbors – both near and far. May our hearts be overjoyed for the things that give You joy and may our hearts break for the things that break Your heart.
Lord, in your mercy, we pray. Amen.
And we end with music. This song is based on Psalm 1.
The words to Psalm 1 from the Common English Bible are below.
Like a Tree by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (Click here to listen)
The truly happy person
doesn’t follow wicked advice,
doesn’t stand on the road of sinners,
and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful.
Instead of doing those things,
these persons love the Lord’s Instruction,
and they recite God’s Instruction day and night!
They are like a tree replanted by streams of water,
which bears fruit at just the right time
and whose leaves don’t fade.
Whatever they do succeeds.
That’s not true for the wicked!
They are like dust that the wind blows away.
And that’s why the wicked will have no standing in the court of justice—
neither will sinners
in the assembly of the righteous.
The Lord is intimately acquainted
with the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked is destroyed.