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Sunday 19th November 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Second Sunday before Advent with parallel Children's Ministry followed by Coffee Hour
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

Sunday 26th November 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist celebrating Christ the King with parallel Children's Ministry followed by Cool Drinks and Refreshments
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Ricky Yates

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13th August 2017 – Ninth Sunday After Trinity – Rev’d Nathanial

Prayer:- Through the written word, and the spoken word, may we know your living word, Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

Bible tells us that everything works for good for those who love Christ. Timings matter. But, do you agree with me that when we are in difficult situations we often forget that our Lord is much more powerful that our situation. He can turn any and every difficulty into our favor. David writes beautifully in Psalm 23.. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me.

Today’s readings beautifully tell us that even if we are in a pit or in midst of a storm or going through the darkest valley.. or facing any difficult situation and we see no sunshine. We need to remember that our Most High Living God is WITH US.. and just like a coal after a lot pressure turns into diamond.. Our Lord will make us shine..

In today’s gospel passage, Jesus, right after feeding a crowd of 5,000 people, made the disciples get into the boat and go before them to the other side. And what did Jesus do? HE PRAYED.. God’s son.. all powerful.. yet He PRAYED and PRAYED ALONE! If you just notice how important it is for us to pray with believers and to have our own personal prayer-time. While he was doing so, at the fourth hour (roughly between 3 am to 6 am) the boat was beaten by the waves.
Just like Jacob’s beloved son Joseph was beaten by the situations.. thrown into a pit, later sold to Midianite traders and was taken away to Egypt. It was not very easy. He was made a prisoner, was falsely blamed but God was with him all throughout. God made all odds work in His favor. God gave him great honor and repute.

Coming back to today’s Gospel Passage.. in midst of the storm, Jesus came! He was fully aware of the situation.. To show wonders! This time He was miraculously walking on the sea! The disciples were afraid! Was it actually too difficult for them to realize that it was Jesus? The one who performed many miracles.. and the last one, of feeding the 5,000, was performed the same evening. Same happens with us! Miracles happen every other day in our life yet when we face difficult situations we focus on ‘the difficulty’ rather than on Jesus. We instantly forget or deliberately ignore the countless miracles we have seen in our lives and in the lives of the people around us. If we are facing any difficulty today, the word of the Lord in Matthew 14:27 says, “Take heart, it is I, Do not be afraid.” It is he, who is walking on the water, in midst of the storm to save us. We must not mistake His presence. There may be a plan of you being sent to a foreign land, a new office, in midst of new people, new friendships.. Do not doubt.. in Proverbs 3:5&6 the Bible tells us to not rely on our own insight. Lean not on your own understanding.. Like, Peter, do not doubt.. It is He.. He who is with you.. My dear friends, the Bible tells us that just like eagle, God spreads his wings to catch us and to carry us aloft.

We need to understand four important things:-
1) God sends us into what looks like storms.
2) He sends us into storms to show his faithfulness.
3) It is not our faith that saves us, but IT IS WHAT OUR FAITH IS ON that saves.
4) God will reach out his hand and take hold of us.. like he did with Peter.

We must remember, my dear friends, God is faithful even when we are faithless.

In Matthew 14:33, we see that those in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Are we acknowledging Him and thanking Him once we are out of the storm? Are we really doing so or we doubt and think if it was just by chance or by luck?

In Romans chapter 10, Paul writes – because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”
In the same chapter, it is further written that – “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
BUT
This poses genuine questions, written by Paul.. But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?
There are many people in the world.. around us.. they know nothing about Jesus.. about their creator.. they don’t know that our wonderful God who has saved us is willing to save them too!

Very recently I had an opportunity to share about Jesus with one of my friends in Pardubice. I came to know that she had a Bible at home but she never opened it and no one ever encouraged or told her about it. It was kept at her home since ages! And in midst of this conversation, a small girl came up to us and said someone is standing here.. my friend said – I don’t understand what is wrong with this little girl. There is no one yet she is able to see someone here. I quickly understood that it’s God’s presence when I was talking about Him.

When I was reading theology, our mentors introduced to us the concept of PRAYER WALK. We used to go for walk.. and pray in our hearts and minds for people we used to see, we used to meet. And, we did come across some people from those areas, those localities who accepted Christ as their Saviour, sometime later.
Wherever we go and whom so ever we meet.. We should try to tell them about Jesus.. It is our duty to accomplish the task of spreading the good news! Share His love and peace with them. There are many who are in midst of troubles which look unending.

We also should note that in both the account in Matthew 8:23-27 and our text at hand, Jesus ends up in the boat with the disciples. A ship was one of the earliest symbols for Christianity, and this story indicates why it was attractive: when surrounded by adversity, troubles and struggles; peace, safety and salvation are experienced in the church with Jesus in its midst. But remember that a ship is not a static symbol. It is a vehicle used to get somewhere. We know that a ship is fragile and it is only because of Jesus, that it stayed intact in midst of the storm. Ultimately, we may ask, “Why did Jesus and the disciples cross the sea?” The answer is given in the following verses 14:34-36. They wanted to get to the other side to minister to those people there. That ship which is the church is where we want to be, and it can provide the way for us to get to other places, so that disciples of the Son of God can be moving throughout the land! As Paul says in today’s reading, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!