The pastor stands in the pulpit, and he begins his sermon with strong words,
words that shock my ears:
"The boat is sinking, and it is Jesus who sinks the boat."
He has my attention.
I feel a little like he's picking a fight with me.
I know that boats sink. That's part of the broken world we live in.
I think of this post-- and the feeling I have frequently of sinking under the weight of vocation, of unbearable blessing-burdens that break my back and snap my patience in two.
I sink, but it's their fault. My fault. Something we can and should be able to fix.
And so pride works, underestimates the danger.
And continues to sink.
The pastor speaks of the sinking, and the disciples afraid.
Disciples heavy with all-night work, heavy with disappointment- suddenly in a boat heavy with fish. And it is sinking. And Peter fears, not the waters but the God who sinks.
The boat sinks, and it is God who does this thing.
Fear of God's holiness, knowledge of sin, helplessness- see the sight given to the one who sinks.
Weakness revealed, to make room for reception of love.
The boat is sinking, and it is Jesus who sinks this boat.
Cling not to fish or fig leaf,
not to repentant feelings,
or action plans.
Hope not in child-training strategies,
or anger management theory,
or sheer force of will.
Fear the Lord, and fear the sinking of the ship.
Fear the Lord and grieve your sins.
Fear the Lord and experience the powerlessness of your own hands to save.
Fear, and yet reach for Him, for He is gracious and merciful.
He sinks, that He may rescue.
He warns, that He may save.
He dies, that you may live.
* Looking for a faithful church in Grand Rapids MI? I recommend Mt. Olive!
** this is not a transcript of the sermon, only my thoughts on one main idea presented therein.
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