Get in the Boat

Excerpts from the sermon – Get in the Boat
Matthew 14: 22-33

Most of the time when we go to LaGonave, we take the Jesus boat. We call it the Jesus boat because we’re pretty sure that the disciples sent it to Haiti when they were finished with it. The only difference is today instead of just using the sail, they throw a couple outboard motors on the boat to help cross the channel. There are holes plugged with old rags and often we bail water out during the trip. Rocks at the bottom of the boat are thrown in for ballast and 25-30 people, plus luggage are common in our trips to the island.

Our trip back home was interesting. Before we left LaGonave to head back to the mainland and stepped into the boat, we were handed life jackets. That should have been our first clue. When the Jesus boat left we followed the edge of the island as long as we could before turning to encounter the waves.

Our next two hours were spent riding 10-12 ft. waves in a flat little wooden Jesus boat. The boat captain obviously had done this many times, but seeing a wall of water coming time after time after time caused my life to flash before my eyes a couple times. It takes faith to go into turbulent places and Jesus is saying to us – COME. Jesus is imploring us to have faith and go into challenging places. It’s in those places where God breaks through.

Every time I wonder how we will come up with funds to get Dr. William for medical school or how we will expand our feeding program or how we can get students to or through school – a check seems to show up. When I stop doubting that God finds a way through the storms, when I accept that Jesus is the son of God who can change my heart and the heart of others, when I cry out Lord, save me – I hear it – Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.

So where’s your boat? Where is it that you have people to reach? Where is Christ saying to you – Come? Is it Tree of Life ministry on our reservations? Is it serving those who need a meal? Can you volunteer at a hospital or see those inside? How about putting together school or layette kits? Do you feel this church has a boat for you in Sunday School, reaching out in prayer or written notes to families, by starting something new? Where do you see people in need? Where can you be the hands and feet or where can you provide the funds so the holes in the boats can be plugged. Take courage. Don’t be afraid. Save yourself and save others.
Get in the boat and recognize Jesus is Lord.
Get in the boat and realize we have people to reach.
Get in the boat because Jesus says, Come.

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