The story of Jesus calming the storm is based on one of my life passages Mark 4:35-41. My experience is that Jesus can indeed calm both the storms around us and the storms within us. And he does it even when our faith is painfully small.
This Sunday marked the beginning of my second year as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo. I used the occasion to reflect on the church's rich heritage and the inevitable changes that must be made in order to be faithful to God's calling to reach a world increasingly disinterested in church. (Hint: the answer doesn't involve style of music, video graphics or preachers in skinny jeans telling hilarious stories.)
What could be easier than telling the difference between good and evil? Apparently it isn't as easy as it sounds or we wouldn't have so many people in this election convinced the other party's candidate is not only wrong, but evil. This kind of confusion isn't new; some people in the Bible couldn't tell the difference between Jesus and the devil.
If Jesus wanted to turn the world upside down, he could hardly have chosen a less likely group of disciples to carry out his mission. He chose ordinary people and helped them do extraordinary things; he still does the same thing today.
What do you say to 170 visitors at your church for a worship service, especially when nearly 100 of them are high school seniors presenting special music? Here's what I felt God was leading me to say.