NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2015 FINDING PEACE IN THE STORM

This week I’m departing from the lectionary gospel text to preach from Mark 4, the portion of the chapter that deals with Jesus calming the storm.

Portion of our nation faced a great snowstorm this week.  My favorite sister, Lillian, was preparing to be homebound because of the impending snowstorm (ok blizzard) that was expected to wallop the northeast coast of the United States including where she lived.  Fortunately, Bridgeport, CT was spared the blizzard part of that storm and only got 6 inches of snow.  She experienced relatively minor inconveniences with no power outage or even cable disruption.  Just prior to what was to be a record setting blizzard for her area, I called to make sure she was prepared for the coming storm and discovered she had had the time to adequately prepare for whatever storm would come and she was feeling calm and confident she would be alright.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could anticipate all of the storms of our lives as she had for the one that was supposed to be headed her way this past week? 

Unfortunately, most of the storms we face in life are more like the sudden storm Jesus and his disciples found themselves in the midst of on the Sea of Galilee.  They are either unexpected and sudden or grievous and devastating.  Perhaps worst of all, we seem to almost always NOT be prepared for them.  Such storms have a way of knocking us off our stride and destroying our sense of peace.  Yet, in the scripture, Jesus speaks to the sudden storm they faced and said “Peace, Be Still.”   And the scripture tell us, “…the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”  I wish all storms in my life were calmed that easy, but that has not been the case.   And I can’t promise you that the waves that you will face in your storms will cease and become calm any easier than mine either.  However, what I can promise you is that God still speaks to the storms and you can “find peace in your storms” of life.

Join us for worship this week at Covenant.  I will be preaching a sermon called “Finding Peace in The Storm.”  As part of the sermon, a long time member of our congregation will share his testimony of “Finding Peace in Three Storms;” peace in the storm of his Mother’s death, peace in the loss of a military career storm for being gay, and peace in the storm of an HIV diagnosis.”

My sermon title of course will be “Finding Peace in the Storm.”  It is based on the scriptural texts of Psalm 107:28-32 and Mark 4:35-41.

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