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November 2013

Dive to Safety

Pentecost Proper 28; 26th Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture Reference: Luke 21:5-19

From “Scolding the Snakes”   


Preparation: Bring a toy submarine and a toy boat to help illustrate the sermon. 

The Gospel lesson for today from Luke, chapter 21, is a little bit scary. Jesus is speaking about the end of the world, and he talks about things that will happen when that time comes. Jesus said that there will be earthquakes and wars and sickness all around. But Jesus tells his disciples that they don’t need to be afraid: when the world comes to an end, the followers of God will be saved.

Reading these verses reminded me of a big storm. Imagine that you are on a boat way out in the ocean. (Pantomime riding big waves with your toy boat.) A mighty wind blows a huge storm in, and the winds start to tear at your sails and push your boat over. The waves get bigger and bigger until they tower like mountains all around you. The waves lift your boat up to the top of the wave, and then drop it down into the bottom. The skies light up with flashes of lightning, and thunder cracks right above your head. The rain is pouring down and blowing this way and that. It’s a terrible storm!

If you were caught out in a storm like this, where could you go to be safe? Where could you quickly go to get away from the storm? (Let children ponder the possibilities.) Well, if you were in a submarine, you could dive down deep into the ocean. (Demonstrate with the toy sub.) If you dive beneath the surface of the ocean—even if it’s only fifty feet or so below—the ocean is fairly calm and still. Even if a wild storm is raging on the surface, you can be calm and quiet below the surface.

All of us are going to have storms and rough waters. Life is not always easy. Sometimes bad things happen or we get hurt or we feel very, very sad. All of us have cried and been hurt before, and we will probably cry again. But our mighty God is like the deep part of the ocean. He is always right there beneath us and all around us. He is deep and calm and steady, and he doesn’t change. When we hit rough waters in our lives, we can dive down into God’s protection and comfort. We can pray and remember that God is holding us quietly and safely.

Prayer:  Deep and mighty God, thank you for being the calm beneath our storms. Help us to remember to turn to you for help and comfort when life gets rough. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

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