Sea Sunday Sermon – 12 July 2020 by David Hughes

IN THE NAME OF GOD THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT…….AMEN.

GREETINGS TO ALL CONREGANTS & FRIENDS OF ST. PAUL’s……..I AM MOST GRATEFUL TO HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO  EXTEND THE  SEA SUNDAY MESSAGE TO YOU TODAY,  IN MY CAPACITY AS PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER FOR THE MISSION TO SEAFARERS,  DURBAN.

SEA SUNDAY  IS A MEANINGFUL  TRIBUTE TO SEAFARERS, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, ALL AROUND THE WORLD.

THE SEA SUNDAY  CELEBRATION BEGAN IN BRITAIN, IN JULY 1975, AND FROM THAT DATE ANNUAL WORLDWIDE SERVICES  HAVE TAKEN  PLACE, EVERY SECOND SUNDAY IN JULY, AS A TRIBUTE FOR SEAFARERS.  HERE IN DURBAN, VARIOUS INTERDEMONINATIONAL SERVICES WERE HELD AT VARIOUS CITY CHURCHES. LATER ON, THE SOUTH AFRICAN NAVY PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE WITH SERVICES ORGANIZED AT THEIR DURBAN NAVAL BASE, AT SALISBURY ISLAND.  IN MORE RECENT TIMES, A LARGE INTERDENOMINATIONAL SERVICE  HAS BEEN SET EVERY YEAR AT A CENTRAL HARBOUR VENUE.

THE MISSION TO SEAFARERS HAS PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE WITHIN THESE SERVICES, AND ALSO TOWARD THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS OF THE DURBAN SEAFARERS MISSION, WHICH IS LOCATED IN THE BAYHEAD AREA OF DURBAN HARBOUR.

WE THANK GOD FOR THE WIDESPREAD AND DIVERSE GROUP WHICH MAKES UP THE MISSION TO SEAFARERS, AND MAKES THEIR WORK POSSIBLE.  AND NOW, AS WE LOOK AHEAD TO THE FUTURE, WE PRAY FOR ALL THOSE WHO WORK FOR AND SUPPORT THE MISSION TODAY, AND EVERYTHING THE MISSION REPRESENTS, TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE TO SERVE SEAFARERS WITH EQUAL FAITH AND COMMITMENT.

FOR OUR READING TODAY, LET US REFLECT ON THE GOSPEL OF MARK 4: VERSES 35 – 41,  WHERE JESUS ASKED HIS DISCIPLES TO CROSS OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE. WHEN A GREAT STORM AROSE, THERE WAS CONCERN AND JESUS CALMED THE WATERS AND ASKED THE DISCIPLES TO BE FAITHFUL, INSTEAD OF SHOWING IMMENSE FEAR.

IN OUR PRESENT DAY COVID-19 DAY WANDERINGS, HOW TRUSE THIS STORY OF JESUS RELATES TO US – THAT WE SHOULD HOLD ON, KEEP OUR FAITH NO MATTER WHAT, AND BE OBEDIENT TO GOD.

KEEPING CALM IN ROUGH SEAS AND ASKING JESUS TO STLL THE WATERS IS JUST IMPORTANT FOR US TODAY, AS IT WAS FOR THE DISCIPLES.  WHETHER WE ARE IN OUR COMFORT ZONE, OR FAR OUTSIDE WHAT WE NORMALLY EXPERIENCE, THERE IS A SENSE OF WELLBEING WHEN WE ARE IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. THIS ENABLES US TO CONFRONT THE DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS, WITH A REASONABLE CONFIDENCE THAT WE CAN COPE,  AND ARE ABLE TO MEET THE CHALLENGE. WHEN WE FEEL OVERPOWERED BY ALL THAT IS HAPPENING AROUND US, WHEN WE THINK WE ARE BEING SWAMPED, WE CAN CALL ON GOD TO HELP. WE ARE ALL CALLED TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD, AND TO PLACE OUR FAITH IN HIM. TO COPE WITH THE GENTLE SWAYING OF LIFE WITH THE DRAMATIC STORMS THAT MAY BESET US WE CAN COPE, IF WE HAVE OUR FAITH AND BELIEVE THAT GOD LOVES US.

LET US NOW PRAY FOR EVERYONE TAKING PART IN SEA SUNDAY SERVICES, AND FOR SEAFARERS ALL OVER THE WORLD :

CREATOR GOD, YOU HAVE MADE THE SEA BEAUTIFUL AND FEARFUL,

BE WITH ALL WHO SAIL ON IT FOR WORK OR PLEASURE

AND GIVE THEM SAFE PASSAGE WITH CHRIST THE VOYAGER.

WHO CALMED THE STORM AND STRENGTHENED HIS DISCIPLES FAITH.

WE ASK IN THE NAME OF YOUR SON JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD,

WHO STILL THE WATERS OF LAKE GALILEE

AND STILL CONTROLS THE SEAS AND OCEANS TODAY;

HEAVENLY FATHER, WE GIVE THANKS TO YOU FOR YOUR CREATION, AND ALL THE BEAUTY IN THIS WORLD

WE THANK YOU FOR THE OCEAN, ITS ABUNDANCE AND FOR THE SEAFARERS WHO TOIL ON ITS SURFACE.

WITHOUT OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO ARE SEAFARERS, WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ENJOY THE BLESSINGS OF THIS WORLD.

MAY WE ALWAYS BE MINDFUL  OF OUR GLOBAL FAMILY, AND BE GRATEFUL FOR THE  SACRIFICES SEAFARERS MAKE EACH DAY…….AMEN.

INDEED, SEAFARERS ARE BESET BY MANY PROBLEMS.  YOU WILL BE FAMILIAR WITH THE PHRASE “ALL AT SEA”.  – TO FEEL THAT THINGS NOT WITHIN YOUR CONTROL………IMAGINE THE FOLLOWING : LONG SEPARATIONS FROM FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES, SHORT STAYS IN PORT WITH NO SHORE LEAVE PERMITTED,  AND TIMES WHEN WAGE  PAYMENT DOES NOT HAPPEN.  THIS IS WHERE THE MISSION PLAYS THE ROLE OF “THE GOOD SAMARITAN” AND STEPS IN TO ASSIST. THAT PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN  REMINDS US HOW EASY IT IS TO JUST PASS BY ON THE OTHER SIDE.  CERTAINLY THAT IS ALL TOO OFTEN THE EXPERIENCE OF SEAFARERS LEFT FRIENDLESS AND ALONE IN THE WORLD’s PORTS, AND IN REAL NEED OF OUR HELP AND SUPPORT.  LET US REMEMBER,  EACH PERSON ON THIS EARTH IS CREATED BY GOD, AND CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER BY INALIENABLE DIGNITY.

YOU TOO CAN PLAY A ROLE IN SUPPORTING THE MISSION TO SEAFARERS IN ITS WORK. OUR CONTACT DETAILS ARE DISPLAYED ON THE SCREEN BELOW, AND I COMMEND YOU TO  KEEP A CONTACT WITHB US IN OUR VERY IMPORTANT MISSION.

GO IN PEACE TO LOVE AND SERVE LORD……….AMEN.

DAVID HUGHES

 

FIURTHER SUGGESTED READING FOR SEA SUNDAY :
THE SAILORS PSALM : PSALM 107 :  VERSES 23-31.

 

THE MISSION TO SEAFARERS, DURBAN : CONTACT AS FOLLOWS PLEASE :

email :  mts_dbn@worldonline.co.za

Telephone :  031-2056508