The little boat – 25 June 2018
Breton fishermen are out on the sea. (Jules Achille Noel, 1810-1881) Their boat is small, and the waves are increasing in size. Four row hard, pulling together, unable to see where they are going. One stands at the tiller. Only he can see land and the harbour. Those that are rowing will have to trust him to set a course that will take them to safety. For fishermen this is a depiction of reality, for those on land this picture is a image of the troubled seas of life through which we, or another, will steer a safe course home
One of the first images used for the church was that of a small boat. The gospels tell stories of journeys onto the sea that start well, but soon get into trouble when a storm begins, and the sea is whipped up. If Jesus is on board he is asleep, often at the stern, where he could be taking the tiller. These stories of little boats out on the sea speak of faith disturbed by changing circumstances and of a lack of trust in the authority of Jesus, who always stills the storm and takes the disciples home to safety.
Dear God, be good to me. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small.
Breton fisherman’s prayer
O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy Word,
Who walked upon the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
O God our defender, storms rage about us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us all from unbelief; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Collect for this week, SEC