2nd Sunday before Lent – Sermon 297

22nd December 2019 Off By Derek
  • 2nd Sunday before Lent
  • 10.00am Morning Prayer
  • All Saints Thelwall
  • 24th February 2019

Prayer to start

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ



Coping with life’s storms – is something the world is going to have to do – more and more – what with Hurricanes, whirlwinds – Tsunami’s – flooding – it seems as if we may be in for a rough ride – in years to come –

but not all storms – are down to global warming – some of them are home grown – and can be just as destructive – marriage breakups – bankruptcies – redundancies – loss of a loved one –

some of them too can be of our own making – from our sins – from our relationships with one another

when such storms hit our lives – how do we cope? – How do we keep faith – with the One that can see us safely through them? 

Point 1         Genesis Chp 2

Everybody knows the story of Pinocchio – a doll carved from a piece of wood – who longs to become a real boy –

and after a series of adventures – that come to a climax with him making a great sacrifice – it eventually happens – he becomes a boy – and everyone lives happily ever after! –

But in our OT story from Genesis – things work out differently –

The first human being Adam – is moulded by God from dust – but it is purely God’s generosity – that makes him turn into a living human being –

as with Pinocchio – the challenge to live the right kind of life follows on – but this time – everyone does not live happily ever after – 

God made Adam – which in Hebrew – means “mankind” – in His image or nature – to enjoy an intimate relationship with Him – and as our glimpse of the Throne Room in Revelation reminds us – to worship and praise Him as the Holy One and our Creator.  

He breathed life into us – He gave us freedom to choose – whether to accept or reject Him – He  gave us dominion over the rest of creation – but even though we’d been given so much – we are still dependent on Him –

Eve was created from Adam – she was the girl of his dreams –

Adam was given power over all other life – but this wasn’t enough for him – he needed someone who would be close to Him –

And so Adam and Eve were born – and their lives together began to unfold – and they began to assert themselves – 

And – as we learn later in Chapter 3 – Eve was tempted by the serpent – with a doubt and a denial – a doubt – whether the word of God would mean what it says – a denial – that judgment would follow –

God had warned them that the day they chose to disobey they would die – and immediately their relationship with God died –

Adam and Eve found the gifts that God provided more attractive than God Himself – and wanted to decide for themselves what was good and what was evil – they wanted self- rule rather than God rule –

The loving relationship that God wanted was broken by sin – and sin became part of human nature – their bid for moral independence – and attack on God’s sovereignty – had set the scene – for the rest of mankind – to be on a life that would try to ignore – or even deny that God exists –

We have all helped to make this world – the place it is – much of what we do is destructive – to the environment – to ourselves – and to those who come after us –

we all have a considerable overdraft of sin – and cannot simply shrug off guilt – we have to face up to sin honestly – we need a fresh start – a new beginning – we need rescuing – someone to break sin’s power over us – and such is God’s love for us – that He sent His only Son to rescue us – and bring us back to Him –

Point 2         Jesus calming the storm

The sea is a symbol of wild untamed power – standing by the ocean on a calm day – watching the waves gives us a sense of its might and strength –

and when the wind gets up –- that power raises its head – it can be one of the most dangerous places to be –

In the Gospels of course the word sea is used not for an ocean but for the Sea of Galillee – also called Lake Tiberius – ‘The Lake’ in our reading-

a large freshwater Lake significantly below sea level – which was a main source for fishing and drinking water –

and because of the difference in climate and elevation between the water and the eastern mountains or Golan Heights – it was subject to sudden and violent storms – that produced huge waves that even threatened the largest of fishing boats

For the disciples a-float in the Lake – when the storm blew up – it must have been a terrifying moment – being swamped by waves – in a small boat –

It doesn’t say which disciples were with Jesus – but its likely that seasoned fishermen (at least four of the twelve) were on board who were familiar with the ways of the sea – but even these professional fishermen were frightened to the point of fearing they would die

Jesus was calm – asleep – and they thought they were done for – but when they woke Him up – Jesus imposed his power on the situation – and there was a great calm –

Jesus couldn’t understand why they were so afraid – ‘where is your faith’ He said – ‘Who then is this’, they said – that commands even the winds and the water – and they obey Him’,

To the disciples Jesus was their leader and master – and they knew he was a healer and teacher – but this went beyond anything they were expecting –

They knew His authority stretched to healing diseases – they had seen it – enabling the crippled to walk – the blind to see – but to control the elements – the wind and the sea – what sort of man is this?

Point 3        What it means for us

Jesus showed His disciples who He is and His great power – He rescued them from the storm –

Today – Jesus will rescue us from the storms in our lives – from sin – from death – from life’s storms and difficulties. 

Jesus was sent by God to save us from our sins – to bring us back to Him – so that He can bring His power and love back into our lives –

Through Jesus – God is seen in a new light – Through Jesus – God’s love has been demonstrated through power and action – fulfilling all the promises made in the Scriptures – His Spirit has reached into the hearts of everyone –  

As the Son of God – and through His Spirit within us – Jesus had made us all – part of His family – part of God’s Kingdom again –

Jesus too promises that He will be with us where ever we are – when we are in trouble – when we face our darkest fears – even death itself – He will never leave us by ourselves –

with faith in Jesus – and with His help – our problems and concerns will be overcome.

The seas of life and forces of evil may be powerful and sometimes set against us – but Jesus has greater power – greater than we can ever imagine –

Faith in Jesus – will never be misplaced – God has chosen to act through His Son Jesus – to calm the stormy waters and – to change our behaviour for the better – to save us – and give us His love – and protection – to bring us safely home to His Kingdom – safely back to His garden of life –


Lent is a time of preparation and challenge – and in life we are faced with different kinds of choices – as we think about our Lenten regeneration – we need to look to Jesus – for help and direction –

Jesus was tested for our salvation – He showed us what we must do – to overcome our human frailties – to resist temptation – to trust in the Father – We need to seek help and guidance from the Scriptures – to depend on the Holy Spirit – and on Jesus Himself – 

Faith in God changes lives – faith in Jesus can change ours – as Jesus says – we just have to believe it –

And if we can understand that – then – with Jesus’ help – we can cope with anything –

Closing prayer