Tag Archives: faith

Shelter in the Storm

After an incredibly difficult few months, I’m going to have a go at getting back to blogging the lectionary.

It seems appropriate then, to begin with a prayer of thanks:

Isaiah 25:1-9 (CEV)

A Prayer of Thanks to God

25 You, Lord, are my God!
    I will praise you
for doing the wonderful things
you had planned and promised
    since ancient times.
You have destroyed the fortress
of our enemies,
    leaving their city in ruins.
Nothing in that foreign city
    will ever be rebuilt.
Now strong and cruel nations
    will fear and honor you.

You have been a place of safety
for the poor and needy
    in times of trouble.
Brutal enemies pounded us
    like a heavy rain
or the heat of the sun at noon,
    but you were our shelter.
Those wild foreigners struck
    like scorching desert heat.
But you were like a cloud,
    protecting us from the sun.
You kept our enemies from singing
    songs of victory.

The Lord Has Saved Us

On this mountain
    the Lord All-Powerful
will prepare
for all nations
    a feast of the finest foods.
Choice wines and the best meats
    will be served.
Here the Lord will strip away
the burial clothes
    that cover the nations.
The Lord All-Powerful
will destroy the power of death
    and wipe away all tears.
No longer will his people
be insulted everywhere.
    The Lord has spoken!

At that time, people will say,
“The Lord has saved us!
    Let’s celebrate.
We waited and hoped—
    now our God is here.”

Sometimes giving thanks is the hardest thing to do.  We all have times when it feels like we are being bombarded – with difficulties; with seemingly relentless stresses; with one thing after another; with the same thing going on and on and on…   The last thing we feel like doing is giving thanks.  We are busy enough just surviving.  We cannot see God’s plan and purpose – never mind thank him for it.

But somehow we make it through. Maybe battered and bruised, certainly changed. And as we turn and look back, we see the shelter in the storm, the protection from the heat, a place of safety – and we give thanks.

Sometimes giving thanks is the only thing we can do, the simplest thing.  To pray anything else is too hard, too big, way beyond us – but we can give thanks.  Just rest in his shelter and be.  Come to terms with where we are and how things are.  In our troubles to rest and hope in God’s presence.

For here is the one who wipes away our tears. He doesn’t stop them, but holds us as we cry; as we sob on his shoulder and gently, lovingly wipes them.

We waited and hoped—
    now our God is here.

My Jesus, My Saviour

All I Have

This is all I have,
It doesn’t seem much,
But I’m giving it to you

Some see the difficulties,
the lack,
the need for more

You see the possibilities,
what can be done,
if only
we hand over
what we have

What I have
seems so small,
Insignificant,
not enough
for the need,
for all that is required

But in your hands,
broken,
blessed
and shared,
it is beyond
what is needed,
so much more than I gave.

And so Lord,
I give to you,
what I have,
what I am,
for you to break
and bless
and use

PICT1081

Matthew 14:13-21 (MSG)

Supper for Five Thousand

13-14 When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick.

15 Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.”

16 But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.”

17 “All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said.

18-21 Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.

“Love, like two fish and five loaves, is never enough until you give it away”

What Were You Expecting

John 6:16-29  (CEV)

Jesus Walks on the Water

16 That evening, Jesus’ disciples went down to the lake.17 They got into a boat and started across for Capernaum. Later that evening Jesus had still not come to them, 18 and a strong wind was making the water rough.

19 When the disciples had rowed for three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He kept coming closer to the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said, “I am Jesus! Don’t be afraid!” 21 The disciples wanted to take him into the boat, but suddenly the boat reached the shore where they were headed.

The Bread That Gives Life

22 The people who had stayed on the east side of the lake knew that only one boat had been there. They also knew that Jesus had not left in it with his disciples. But the next day 23 some boats from Tiberias sailed near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread for which the Lord had given thanks. 24 They saw that Jesus and his disciples had left. Then they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus. 25 They found him on the west side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “I tell you for certain that you are not looking for me because you saw the miracles, but because you ate all the food you wanted. 27 Don’t work for food that spoils. Work for food that gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give you this food, because God the Father has given him the right to do so.”

28 “What exactly does God want us to do?” the people asked.

29 Jesus answered, “God wants you to have faith in the one he sent.”

Waiting in expectation,
waiting for Jesus to arrive.
What were we expecting?
Him to come in a boat?
The way we had?
The way that seemed obvious?

But that was not how it was,
not how Jesus came.

He walked,
through the choppy waters,
right to where we were
and climbed in our boat
with us.

He didn’t row alongside in his own boat,
however reassuring that might be,
he got into ours,
among us,
with us,
riding the storm.

It wasn’t what we expected,
we were terrified
of who and what was here,
but it was you.
You came to us
and together
we got
to the place we were headed.

Lord,
I have my expectations
of what you will do,
where we are going,
how you will work it;
may I be willing to let you surprise me
and steer me,
us,
to the place you are headed.
May I do it your way,
with you firmly on board.

I don’t need to be afraid,
trying to paddle my own boat,
for it is you,
you are here
with me.

The wind may blow
and the water be stirred,
but as I look
and wonder where you are,
you are here,
may I willingly take you on board
and let you steer