September 25th 2022 – “The sea became smooth as glass”

Jesus calming the storm on the sea of Galilee
2022-09-25 Sunday Service 11:00 AM - “The sea became smooth as glass”

Dear all,

Our service tomorrow continues with the theme of faith and fear. After Moses dies, Joshua is anointed his successor and is repeatedly urged by God to be strong and courageous in leading the people of Israel to possess the ‘Promised land’. The Biblical text suggests that God’s promises are not automatically realized. They require an active response on our part to God’s initiative.

In our gospel lesson, Jesus is dismayed by the disciples lack of faith. In the face of a great storm that blows up in the Sea of Galilee, they are terrified, but Jesus speaks, and suddenly the water is as smooth as glass.  Modern people tend to see a storm as a natural phenomenon meteorologists can explain.  I think that Matthew wants us to see something more going on: the storm involves a struggle with demonic powers.  In the Book of Revelation there are two references to “the sea of glass” near the throne of God. The Jews were a non seagoing nation and identified storms at sea with the demonic forces of danger and chaos that disrupt creation – forces that are tamed by Jesus and the One who sits on the throne in the New Jerusalem.  This may strike us modern people as far-fetched, but imagine how you might feel if you were on open water in a fishing boat as hurricane Fiona approached. Might it not strike you as an evil and malevolent force bent on your destruction?

Order of Service

Call to Worship
Hymn 321: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”
Prayer of Adoration and Confession
Declaration of Grace and Lord’s Prayer
Responsive reading: Psalm 91
Anthem: Psalm 91
Joshua 1: 1-9
Matthew 8: 23-27
Hymn 325: “Eternal Father, strong to save”
Sermon: “The sea became smooth as glass”
Hymn: “If You But Trust in God to Guide You”
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Hymn 633: “Who would true valour see”
Go now in Peace