When life grows turbulent, I find comfort in imagining myself in a boat with Jesus Christ, navigating a restless sea. The imagery comes from Mark 6:45-51:
“… Christ saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn He went out to them, walking on the lake… He spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then He climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.”
This nautical passage and lesson were first introduced to me by Rev. Karen Hunter (Grace Episcopal Church) in a sermon several years ago. It has stayed with me all this time, as has many of her other writings and sermons. For me, they embody the Christian message of forgiveness, hope, charity, and love.
So I decided a few months ago to share her work through a website I have been volunteer-managing for St. Francis’ Episcopal Church in Grayling, Michigan. St. Francis’ is currently without a full-time priest, and I thought Rev. Karen’s essays from Grace’s newsletters* would make the perfect interim blog. You can find the the blog here, and I hope it will be as inspirational for you as it has been for me.
My niece, 13-years-old at the time, was with me for the Mark 6 sermon. We left the church and turned to each other, saying almost in unison how much we had enjoyed the sermon and that we wanted to be in a boat with Christ. It has since become a catch-phrase for the two of us, sharing a sacred moment and an important memory of how words can give spiritual solace. But even more importantly, it is a reminder of how Christ’s presence is never far away, and how gifted writers and speakers, like Rev. Karen, can bring Him even closer.
*Reprinted with permission—thank you, Karen!