NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR FATHER’S DAY, SUNDAY, JUNE 21, 2015

To all Fathers and those serving in paternal roles,

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

It’s interesting that none of the assigned lectionary scriptures this year has anything in them about fathers. Instead, Psalm 9 talks about God being a refuge in the time of trouble; and Mark’s Gospel talks about Jesus’ actions in some stormy weather.

Perhaps it’s a reminder that while we pause to celebrate this American Holiday that we call Father’s Day, holidays do not exempt us from “Life in Stormy Weather.” I was reminded of that this week when Deacon Susan Carroll’s mother begins a second round of chemo; a dear friend starts her first round of chemo; a young man I’ve been visiting in the hospital for several weeks started his first skin grafts after having been burnt over 80% of his body; I have to help officiate a funeral at our church on Friday, speak at a funeral in Atlanta on Saturday and be back to preach Sunday morning at Covenant. If that wasn’t enough I came home after teaching this week’s “Life Lesson” on Wednesday night to the news of the horrific shooting in the historical AME church “Mother” Emmanuel in Charleston, SC. (My connection with this church was I visited it years ago for the funeral for a friend and former roommate.) This week leading up to a holiday Sunday was truly a reminder of “Life in Stormy Weather.”

It would be so easy to allow our fear to take control of us; but I believe there is a better way! When it comes to “Life in Stormy Weather”, we need to remember that Jesus does not promise to calm every storm in your life; however, Jesus does promise to calm you in every storm of life.

I read this week that on one of John Wesley’s several Atlantic crossings, a frighteningly fierce storm broke out, pitching and tossing the ship about like a bathtub toy. While Wesley and others clung to their bunks and hid their heads, a community of Moravians, traveling to their new homeland, calmly gathered to hold their daily worship service and sing praises to God. Watching these Moravians, so apparently unperturbed by the howling winds and crashing waves, Wesley realized he was witnessing a truly waterproof faith. It is said that from that moment on, John Wesley prayed that God would give him the ability to likewise ride out life’s storms with as much confidence.

What made those Moravians so peaceful in the face of the tempest? It was the same trait that the disciples so woefully lacked in this week’s gospel text: an unquenchable trust in Jesus Christ.

This Sunday we will wish all of the Fathers and those serving in paternal roles among us “Happy Father’s Day.” It seems like a good day to also be reminded that the “Father” of all Creation wants to speak peace to our “Life in Stormy Weather.”

Join us for worship on this Father’s Day at Covenant. I’ll be preaching about having an unquenchable trust in Jesus Christ that helps with “Life in Stormy Weather” based on Psalm 9:9-10 and Mark 4:35-41.

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