Father’s Day Sermon at St Pauls 20 June 2021 by Revd Henry Naidoo.

Mark 4:35-41

How many times have you had the experience of being in one storm or another and Jesus seems to be asleep. The storm that we’re presently going through, the world is in, this pandemic of covid-19, where is Jesus? He seems to be asleep. Maybe you’re in other boats, financial losses, relationship problems, other health issues etc. that’s tossing your life around and about. Let’s take an in depth look at this story. You may have heard it many times. You may have read it many times, but let’s take another look this morning.

The passage begins with these words, “On that day.” or “That day, in the evening.” Which day? Need to go back to the verses that precede this passage. The day Jesus was teaching his disciples about the secrets of the kingdom of God. For this his followers needed to have a special kind of hearing to understand.

At the end of the day he invites his disciples to go across the lake with him, on a trip or a little journey. The disciples immediately obey him as they did when he first called them (Mark 1:16) to leave everything and follow him, as we too must do if we would want to be called his faithful disciples.

Following Jesus is not for weak people, it is not for the faint-hearted because the road is fraught with dangers, challenges and difficulties. Jesus is inviting all of us to go on this trip to the other side. The other side for me is heaven but before we get there we have to go through a lot of dangerous situation.

In Heb. 12:2 we read, “…keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. For the sake of the joy that lay ahead of him, he endured the cross,… but now is seated on the right hand side of the throne God.”

You see, beloved, one can’t really enjoy the rewards of heaven if one has not gone through the trials and challenges that we will encounter on this trip or journey that Jesus has invited us on.

I’m sure you must have watched TV shows like Fear Factor, Survivor and other challenging feats. What the contestants go though in order to win a prize at the end; ghastly gruelling things. If they can endure all this, how much more should we as God children should strive over obstacles, setbacks, tragedies, difficulties, hardships, etc. because something more glorious, the crown of glory awaits us. 1 Cor. 2:9 we read, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard…what God has prepared for all those who love him.”

In 1 Peter 1:3-7 we read almost the same thing. Read the passage

Maybe I can explain this by using an illustration. Suppose you win a free holiday to a place that you’ve always been dreaming of. It’s will be a holiday of a life time.

Everything has been prepared, car loaded and you begin the trip with your family. After travelling for some time you realise that you left your wallet at home. All your money and bank cards are in it. This is a setback but because your mind is on the dream holiday you turn the car around and come back home. You begin the journey again. Halfway on the journey you have a puncture. The smile on your face vanishes. The spare tyre is in the boot underneath your entire luggage. It’s a mission to get to it, but you do. It’s flat. You have to wait for a Good Samaritan to stop and give you a lift to the nearest garage and must come back again. It’s frustrating and discouraging but the joy of getting to this dream holiday is on your mind so all these obstacles are worth it.

The spare wheel put on you continue your journey. After 3 hours you notice that the cars is front of you are going slowly, coming to a standstill. On enquiring you are told that there’s a massive accident ahead and you have to wait for about 3 hours ‘cause no one can get through either way. More frustration. The question we ask ourselves. Do we continue or turn back for home. But we wanted to go to this venue. We prayed about it for a long time.

You get the idea, beloved. For the joy that lay ahead, we are prepared to endure the suffering and inconveniences. How much more with our destination being heaven should we put up with all the challenges and storms that we are caught in.

Jesus knew that getting to the other side was no easy trip. He knows how to handle the problems associated with being on a journey of this nature, as he gets up and stills the storm. Just look at what follows this passage. Demon possessed, sick girl that dies, in between a woman with the issue of blood. Every challenging storm was overcome.

You see, beloved, no matter what we encounter on this journey the assuring thing is that Jesus is with us. He says, “Let us go.” Not you go on your own and I will meet you on the other side. He accompanies us. We should not be put off by what he is doing; whether he is sitting on his throne or sleeping on a pillow, whether he’s taking his time or not. The promise is that there is something on the other side that Jesus knows about and he needs to get us to that.

Accompanying Jesus on this journey is an act of faith because as believers we know that the trip is not always rosy.

Let God continue to inspire us and strengthen our faith to trust and endure all that we encounter on our journey to the other side. Jesus has conquered the world and we are more than conquerors.  Amen

To God be all glory, praise, power and dominion. Amen

Be safe and be blessed.

 

During this difficult time of the global pandemic, you are invited to make a contribution to the ministry and mission of our church by making a donation to the following account:   Account Name: St Paul’s Church Account Number: 50854628623     Bank: First National Bank (FNB) Branch Code: 221426