It Happened At the Sea of Galilee

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And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39 ESV
…and before [God’s] throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass, like crystal. Revelation 4:6a ESV

The Sea of Galilee is not really a sea, but a largish lake in the northern region of Israel. It’s the lowest freshwater lake on earth, relatively deep, and with about twice the surface area of Lake Conroe. The lake is primarily fed by the Jordan River at its north end, and the remains of human habitation from many thousands of years ago can still be found on its shores.

The ancient cultures that flourished in the Mediterranean region often considered any large body of water as symbolically representing chaos and/or death. You can see their logic-the water is opaque, and the surface uneven, unstable and unpredictable. Getting into a boat carried a significant level of risk of drowning. We can see echoes of this concept in the Bible, e.g., in the creation story, how Jesus miraculously calmed the sea of Galilee, and how John the Revelator portrays the body of water in front of God’s throne as absolutely flat and transparent. These stories reinforce our trust that God is the ruler over chaos.

We don’t need any reminder of what chaos looks like in our world. The last 12 months have certainly given us sufficient examples. And like Jesus’ disciples that were in the boat in the middle of the thunderstorm, we can look to Jesus in the middle of OUR chaos. Perhaps you or a loved one has COVID, or you are grieving over the loss of a friend or family member. Maybe you’ve lost your job, or not been able to find one. Like many, has loneliness or depression seeped into your soul?

Like the disciples in the boat, you’ve been rowing and bailing with all your strength. Perhaps now it’s time to turn to Jesus, who’s been in the back of your heart all along. This weekend at Trinity Downtown, we are embarking on the third in our series titled “It Happened at…” where we are following the physical journey that Jesus took leading to his death and resurrection in Jerusalem. This weekend, we’ll be focusing on the role the Sea of Galilee played in Jesus’ journey.

Come encounter the God who rules over chaos and calms the storms in our lives. Give Him the opportunity to re-position your heart, redeem your circumstances and deepen your recognition that you are totally dependent upon Him. Join us in-person at our contemporary worship service on Saturday at 5:00 pm or our traditional worship service on Sunday at 9:00 am. Reservations are required to attend either in-person worship service; you can see the details at www.trinitydt.org.  You may also make a reservation by calling Stefanie at 713.224.0684 from 8:30-2:30 each weekday. If you are not comfortable attending an in-person service, you can watch the “live stream” of our Satellite Service at 5:00 pm on Saturday, or our traditional service on Sunday at 9:00 am by clicking here. And, of course, you may also participate by watching either of these services “on demand” by clicking here.

As I mentioned last week, we are starting an experiment that involves changes in the way we maintain the prayer list that I distribute every week. We want to make it easier for you to send us a request and we want to make the prayer list more focused and manageable. If you have a prayer need that you’d like to tell us about, you can:

As part of our experiment, we’ve started removing prayer requests after they have been on the list for 4 weeks unless the individual who reported the need renews it.

Set aside time this weekend to learn how to follow Jesus’ footsteps, and in doing so find out how you can live a life of significance, filled with meaning. His calming presence, love and wisdom will make a tremendous difference in your life.