Today’s post is part of a series to help us take what we learn on Sunday into the rest of the week. These posts summarize the main points from the week’s sermon and include questions for continued reflection and prayer. The posts in this series are written by members of our church’s Adult Christian Formation team. This past Sunday, our service theme was “God Keeps His Promises.” Guest preacher Alison Gerber preached from Acts 27:1-20 about how to weather a storm. As Paul was sailing to Rome as a prisoner, the ship he was on was caught in a storm. In a desperate situation, the others on the ship despaired. But Paul had a different reaction. Paul dealt with the storm by clinging to a promise of protection from God. In Acts 23, we read about how Jesus had visited Paul and promised that he would make it to Rome to preach the gospel. When things seemed hopeless during the storm, Paul was able to gain strength from recalling this promise. Paul also dealt with the storm by having and sharing faith. He broke bread and gave it to the others on the ship, convinced that God would bring them safely to land. As he shared the bread, he also shared his faith that they would need strength from the bread after leaving the ship alive. In New England, we usually weather winter storms by gathering what we need and hiding in our homes until the storm has passed. That’s not how to weather the storms that life brings, though. To weather those storms, we need to stay together and cling to Jesus. Questions for prayer and reflection:
- How can you reach out to someone going through a storm this week to check on them? Think especially of someone who might feel alone in their struggles.
- While we know that God does not always keep bad things from happening, we also have promises that God will protect us. What promises of protection has God given us in the Bible?
- Paul shared his faith by both speaking to the others on the boat and giving them bread to eat. How can you do something tangible and speak in a way that encourages faith in God by someone going through a storm? What have others said and done to encourage you to have faith in God in the past?
- Do you tend to face life’s storms alone? How can you begin to lean on others and cling to Jesus even before a storm hits?