Last night, as I was driving home after a church council meeting, the threatening-looking clouds finally opened up. I spent the last few miles of my drive in heavy rains with thunder and lightning. I wasn’t afraid of perishing, as the disciples in the Gospel for Sunday, but I certainly had renewed appreciation for the power of a storm. I could see how someone might get to the point of such fear that the only thing that could calm them down would be the divine words, “Peace, be still,” and the immediate abatement of the wind (or rain).
This Sunday, will you be addressing the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel? The image of a storm is something that nearly everyone can relate to easily, whether literal or metaphorical. We know what it’s like to be afraid or overwhelmed. For a different perspective this week, perhaps you could consider what it is like to be the one who has the power to calm the storm. When the winds of injustice blow children away from their parents, how can we stop those winds and work for a better world
There are, as usual, many other possibilities in this week’s lectionary texts – three different options for the First Lesson and Psalm! The David and Goliath story compliments the Gospel well. Someone who appears to be insignificant is able, by the grace of God, to overcome a powerful force of nature. Job 38 and Psalm 107 speak directly to the power of God over water and storms and all of creation. Which lessons are you using, and what theme speaks to you this week?
In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes about the many obstacles that he and his ministry partners have faced. Hopefully his list puts into perspective whatever you’re struggling with these days! But Paul also makes clear that he seeks to put no obstacle in the way of anyone else. Now is the acceptable time! Open wide your hearts! What does this look like to you or your faith community?
Please share your ideas below for sermons or children’s sermons, prayers or other pieces of worship. Peace to you in your preparation for worship this week.
Katya Ouchakof is an ELCA pastor in Madison, WI (USA). She loves thunderstorms but prefers not to be driving in them. She’s hoping for no storms on her next day off so that she can spend some time canoeing!
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