Psalm 107:23-30 Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.

So, stormy weather this morning – I’m musing about Old Testament life compared with New Testament life and these poor sailors staggering, at their wit’s end in the violence of the storm. It seems very like Jesus’ disciples  eight hundred or so years later panicking as Jesus slept through a storm in their fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. In both cases they were men of faith, in both cases men of experience with the sea. In both cases they cried out for help. In neither case though, was their faith very strong. They had a simple, very human, very natural sort of faith. I expect that if a similar situation had arisen after the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, things would have been different for the disciples, their reactions more spiritually founded earlier on in the emergency – probably a turning to God in the first sight of storm clouds on the horizon. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit often came upon people in times of particular need or to accomplish specific tasks towards God’s purposes. After Pentecost, Jesus’ followers had the Holy Spirit within, resident, full-time on the job of teaching, encouraging and guiding. May the Holy Spirit “speak up” more frequently, clearly, and loudly for us in times of fear, confusion or challenge.

Pastor Bill

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