Family Worship Sunday
What am I doing down here (on the main floor)? Family Worship Sunday. If you were here with us on Palm Sunday, today is kind of like that, where we’re combining the children’s message and adult sermon into one message, which means it’ll be a little more interactive and I’ll be asking for your feedback and responses from time to time …
Baby umbrellas, Chinese Restaurant, Roy Rogers, Shirley Temple, in it not for the drink, or the maraschino cherries, but also the umbrella!
But that’s not why I had our kids pass out baby umbrellas … instead they are for our bible story today. What might an umbrella have to do with our story today? (Any kids have any thoughts here … )
That’s right! Jesus and his closest friends were out on the lake, on a boat together, and there was a massive storm. Now, they probably weren’t using umbrellas that day, but yet, you and I use umbrellas sometimes, in fact, we had a mini rainstorm, slush storm the other day and I saw a bunch of umbrellas around town.
Now our story tells us that while Jesus and his friends were on that boat, in the middle of the lake, that soon a fierce storm came down upon them. And it says, the boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
Woah! That’s serious stuff! You can imagine the wind so strong it’s pushing them around, rain so heavy that they can barely see in front of them, waves so big that they’re splashing over the railings with water filling the boat itself. Woah! That would be scary. Jesus’s friends were in great danger, fearing that they were about to drown.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced scary and memorable bad weather moments at some point in our lives … whether extreme heat, or freezing cold or pouring rain or crazy winds, I want you to turn to the person next to you, share your scariest or most memorable bad weather moment. Whatever comes to your mind first, that’s probably what you want to share. Turn to the person next to you and share away. Ready, go!
(Have people share in the sanctuary … not full stories, but weather categories, like heavy snow or knock-you-over kind of wind)
Callie and I were out on a hiking trip many years ago and we were out in the mountains and found ourselves in the middle of a bad storm. Rain, thunder, lighting. Thunder so intense, that it wasn’t just thunder you could hear, but thunder you could feel. It was scary and memorable.
Now, did anyone catch what Jesus was doing during all of this? Where was he and what was he doing during the first part of this scary and memorable storm?
(Have people answer). He was sleeping! Our Lord was getting some shut eye, settled in for a nice afternoon nap.
Friends, that may seem like a bad thing, as if Jesus is forgetful, and absent minded and unable or unwilling to help us when we need him. But yet, I think Jesus taking a nap is actually a great sign for you and me.
Imagine if the story went something like this instead …“When Jesus saw the storm, he began to get sea sick and wanted to throw up”
It’s never a good sign when the person who is in charge, when the wisest or most experienced person in the room also happens to be the person who is the most worried or fearful or concerned.
It’s never good when a doctor tells you, “My goodness, I gotta be honest, I’ve never seen this before, not really sure what to do here.”
Or kids, if you go ziplining or river rafting, you never want the person in charge looking to you for instructions.
You want your leader, the person in charge to communicate “There’s no need to fear. We’re going to be okay. I’ve got this”
And that’s what Jesus does! The story tells us, When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm.
Amazing, right! Imagine that for a moment. A storm so great and powerful that you can barely stand up straight or see straight and then all of a sudden, by the utterance of a word, air so clear and water so calm that you can see your own reflection in it. Amazing. Jesus is Lord of the Storm.
“Who is this man?” Jesus’s friends asked. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
And yet, here’s my question to all of you: Do you think Jesus only be called upon when the weather’s bad? When there’s a storm outside? Like, is he just a really great weatherman and nothing more?
No way! He’s not only Lord of the Storm, he’s Lord of it all.
Over the past few months as we’ve been studying the book of Luke, we’ve seen that Jesus has power over all sicknesses and diseases, he’s got power over demons, there’s a power in the way he speaks and in his teaching, he’s got the power to forgive our sins.
He’s even got the power over death itself.
He’s not just the Lord of the Storm, he’s the Lord of it all.
So friends, where in your life do you need to remember that Jesus is Lord of all? Maybe you’re in the middle of your own kind of storm. Struggling to make rent. A loved one who is near death, a troubling diagnosis, family turmoil and conflict, feeling rudderless and directionless in your life right now. Where in your life do you need to remember that Jesus is there in the storm with you, that he has not abandoned you, that he’s in charge, that though you may feel in great danger, your safe in Jesus’s arms.
Life with Jesus is no guarantee that we’ll be free from life’s storms, but rather a guarantee that he’ll be with us in the midst of it. And that though the storms we face may be too big for us, they’re not too big for Jesus.
When Jesus silenced the storm that day, he looked at friends and asked, “Where is your faith?” When we are faced with hard things, difficult moments in our lives, it’s an opportunity to step out in faith. Faith that believes that Jesus is with us, that he cares for us, that he has power over it all and that not even death itself can separate us from his love. And because we tend to forget that from time to time, take that umbrella home with you – put it next to the kitchen sink or on the night stand or in your car – maybe it be a regular reminder to you that Jesus is Lord of all.
And when we remember that, it brings us peace, joy and love. Which is what the next song we’re going to sing is all about. And better yet, it comes with hand motions.
The song is called “I’ve got Peace Like a River”, the lyrics are up on the screen, and there are three main parts. You’ll probably want to spread out into the aisle for full freedom of movement ☺
v.1 Peace Like a River (Peace sign) (Current motion)
v.2 Joy Like a Fountain (Hand roll) (Fountain spout)
v.3 Love Like an Ocean (Heart shape) (Waves)
v.4 Peace Like a River, Joy Like a Fountain, Love Like an Ocean (back to back to back)
And kids, any and all of you are invited to come up front right now and help me and help us lead these hand motions and sing this next song …