Matthew 8:23-34 23 When Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. 24 A huge storm arose on the lake so that waves were sloshing over the boat. But Jesus was asleep. 25 They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, rescue us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you people of weak faith?” Then he got up and gave orders to the winds and the lake, and there was a great calm.
27 The people were amazed and said, “What kind of person is this? Even the winds and the lake obey him!”
28 When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake in the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed came from among the tombs to meet him. They were so violent that nobody could travel on that road. 29 They cried out, “What are you going to do with us, Son of God? Have you come to torture us before the time of judgment?” 30 Far off in the distance a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons pleaded with him, “If you throw us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32 Then he said to the demons, “Go away,” and they came out and went into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and drowned. 33 Those who tended the pigs ran into the city and told everything that had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole city came out and met Jesus. When they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.
DEVOTION: In the Book of Jeremiah 5 God reminds the Hebrew people that He made the sea, the waves and the boundaries. These disciples, fishermen, would know that storms could rise in a moments notice on this inland lake and in their belief they believed only God could restrain stormy seas. In a storm, Jesus slept in the boat. Awakened, he amazed the disciples by calming the storm. Landing, they met two terribly strong, unstable men. (Note: Mark and Luke only wrote about one man in this story.) Jesus reordered their disordered lives by calming their inner storms, just as he had the sea.
Sometimes we forget God has the power to calm the storms inward as well as outward. As you face this stormy life season, have you had any sense Jesus is “in the boat” with you? Scott Krippayne sang, “Sometimes He calms the storm, And other times He calms His child.”* In which of those ways has Jesus most been with you in this storm?
Talking to many of you and listening to your stories these questions came ot my mind in this time of uncertainty, storm of life. However much longer this goes on, how can you trust God to bring new order out of the disorder of this difficult time? Has the outer crisis created any inner storms for you, perhaps giving you insight into feelings and attitudes for which you’d value healing and hope? Do you believe Jesus' power is available for you, directly or through human instruments, as it was for the men in today’s story? Are there any ways God is calling you to become a channel of hope to others facing life’s storms?
Think about this passage, the questions it may bring to mind in your life. See you at 10, pastor Carl
Lord God, I am grateful for the ways you have loved me through my mother and those who have filled the role of mothers in my life. I thank you for the ways I have seen you in them. I pray for all the mothers around me; help me to show them my love and appreciation so that they may also see you in me. I pray for those mothers who have lost children or those who long to be mothers, and I pray for those who are experiencing Mother’s Day without their mothers – give them the peace that only you can provide.
Help me. Lord, to remember how you love me in a motherly way so I might love others the same. Lord Jesus, sometimes my emotions feel like one of the snowstorms that blow through our area. Thank you for always offering me peace, and help and healing if the storm threatens to last. Father I lift this and all things up to you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006