Introduction & Welcome
Welcome to worship today, God’s gift to us because God is good! all the time!
and all the time! God is good!
We often use that phrase; “God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good”, and that’s what today’s readings strike me as saying. The Psalm even starts out with a similar expression; “Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good, for God’s mercy endures forever”. But they also seem to be about calling out to God in moments of desperation and despair. Like the wind and the waves, which listened to Jesus when he told them to be calm, may we also listen to His call and believe in the power of God’s Word. A power that is greater that all that we fear.
Confession and Forgiveness
Blessed be the holy Trinity,☩ one God,
the God of manna,
the God of miracles,
the God of mercy.
Drawn to Christ and seeking God’s abundance,
let us confess our sin.
Silence is kept for reflection.
God, our provider,
It is hard to believe there is enough to share.
We question your ways when they differ from the ways
of the world in which we live.
We turn to our own understanding
rather than trusting in you.
We take offense at your teachings and your ways.
Turn us again to you.
Where else can we turn?
Share with us the words of eternal life
and feed us for life in the world.
Beloved people of God:
in Jesus, the manna from heaven,
you are fed and nourished.
By Jesus, the worker of miracles,
there is always more than enough.
Through Jesus, ☩ the bread of life,
you are shown God’s mercy:
you are forgiven and loved into abundant life.
Prayer of the Day
O God of creation, eternal majesty, you preside over land and sea, sunshine and storm. By your strength pilot us, by your power preserve us, by your wisdom instruct us, and by your hand protect us, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
First Reading: Job 38:1-11
At the end of the book of Job, after Job and his companions have argued about the cause of the great suffering Job endures, God finally speaks. These verses begin that speech, which is a grand vision of creation, describing God’s ordering of the cosmos and inviting Job to marvel at its beauty.
1The Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
2“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3Gird up your loins like a man,
I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
4“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone
7when the morning stars sang together
and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
8“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb?—
9when I made the clouds its garment,
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10and prescribed bounds for it,
and set bars and doors,
11and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stopped’?”
Psalm: Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32
You stilled the storm and silenced the waves of the sea. (Ps.107:29)
1Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good,
for God’s mercy endures forever.
2Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim
that God redeemed them from the hand of the foe,
3gathering them in from the lands;
from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
23Some went down to the sea in ships,
plying their trade in deep waters.
24They beheld the works of the Lord,
God’s wonderful works in the deep.
25Then God spoke, and a stormy wind arose,
which tossed high the waves of the sea.
26They mounted up to the heavens and descended to the depths;
their souls melted away in their peril.
27They staggered and reeled like drunkards,
and all their skill was of no avail.
28Then in their trouble they cried to the Lord,
and you delivered them from their distress.
29You stilled the storm to a whisper
and silenced the waves of the sea.
30Then were they glad when it grew calm,
when you guided them to the harbor they desired.
31Let them give thanks to you, Lord, for your steadfast love
and your wonderful works for all people.
32Let them exalt you in the assembly of the people;
in the council of the elders, let them sing hallelujah!
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Paul and his fellow workers experience great hardships and even rejection while carrying out their missionary work. Nevertheless, Paul continuously proclaims that God has not rejected us but is graciously working for our salvation.
1As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
11We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. 12There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. 13In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also.
Alleluia. Now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation. Alleluia. (2 Cor. 6:2)
Gospel: Mark 4:35-41
Jesus’ calming of the storm on the sea reveals his power over evil, since the sea represents evil and chaos. The boat on the sea is a symbol of the church and invites us to trust God amid life’s turbulence.
35When evening had come, [Jesus said to the disciples,] “Let us go across to the other side.” 36And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Meditation by David O’Brien
Precious Lord may the words that you give me bring peace to those who are troubled and confident faith to those who despair. May these words bring you glory, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The first reading, from the Book of Job, begins near the end of his story. I’m sure you all remember that Job was an upright man whom God had blessed and protected. Satan believed that the only reason Job was loyal to the Lord was because God had favored him. God allowed Satan to abuse this man, because Satan believed that if Job felt as though he had lost God’s favor, he would curse God. Satan caused Job’s children to be killed and had his belongings taken away. Job’s heath was also taken from him. Job cries out to the Lord regarding his suffering because he doesn’t understand why all this is happening to him but does not think that He is listening. But He is listening and responds to Job’s complaints by reassuring him that He is the one who has placed everything in order. God declares His mastery over all things, even the sea, and He blesses Job even more than He had before.
The imagery of the sea must have been a powerful one in ancient times. It’s used again in both the Psalm and the Gospel for today. Both talk about men being in their boats and tossed about when a storm came up. In the Psalm, the sailors cry out to the Lord for relief and He stills the storm and silences the waves. The Gospel tells a similar story but of Jesus and the disciples being stuck in a boat at sea when a storm came up. All that Christ needed to do was to tell the waters to be still, and they were. I sometimes wonder if this happened as a way to link Christ’s mastery of the sea to the other two readings.
Being stuck at sea in a storm is a very frightening thing. Those of us who have spent most of their lives around the Great Lakes know how dangerous they can be. I grew up spending a lot of time in boats on Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair & the St. Clair River. (We lived on the St. Clair River.) My grandfather was what I considered to be an expert at navigating these waters. At least when his grandchildren were with him, he never got caught in a storm. I, on the other hand, was not quite so skilled. I had a small rowboat onto which I had attached a 7.5 horsepower outboard engine. One day, I was about 15 miles from my home, out on the river, when I noticed the sky getting dark. I immediately started home, hoping to beat the storm. No such luck. The waves on the river were getting rather fierce and my little boat was being tossed about like a kid’s kite in the wind. I remember thinking I was not going to make it back and was praying for relief. Just as my boat was about to be swamped, I found some shelter under a tree on the shore and managed to get over to it. I held on to one of its branches and waited for the storm to pass, thanking God that I had found it. I was certainly grateful for God’s mercy on that day.
In our everyday lives we often face troubles that we can’t see ourselves getting out of. Things like illness, or divorce, or troubles at work can sometimes seem insurmountable. When we find ourselves at the end of our ropes, and we can’t seem to see a way out, may we continue to have faith and reach out to God for His saving grace and trust in His mercy and wisdom.
Prayers of Intercession
Let us come before the triune God in prayer.
A brief silence.
Holy God, you gather your people from east and west, north and south. We pray for Daniel & Elizabeth, our bishops, and Howard, our pastor, and for our call committee, transition team and Church Counsel. We pray for the mission of the church throughout the world, that your steadfast love may be made known to all peoples. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You laid the foundations of the earth and the waters are the womb of creation. The morning stars sing your name and all creation shouts for joy. We pray for your blessed creation, that it may continue to flourish and magnify your glory. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You keep watch over all nations. We pray for countries experiencing violence, hunger, and unrest. Guide worldwide and local community organizations in their efforts to establish safety and justice. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You are close to the brokenhearted and near to those in distress. We pray for those who are experiencing oppression. Liberate us from the systems and chains that bind us. Remove the barriers that separate us from one another. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You dwell with us in this faith community. We pray for our leaders and elders. Grant them knowledge, patience, and kindness, that through their leadership you may be exalted in this assembly. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Divine comforter, you show compassion to those in need and provide relief to those who call on you. Bless all who suffer, especially those on our prayer list. Bring relief to people trapped in cycles of poverty and homelessness. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Your love endures in all situations. On this Father’s Day, we pray for those who are fathers or wish to be fathers, for those with broken or strained relationships, for those who are missing their fathers, and for fathers who have lost children. Bless and strengthen them. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
We lift our prayers to you, O God, trusting in your abiding grace.
Together, let us profess our faith using the words of the Apostles Creed:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.* On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
And now, as our Savior, Christ is teaching us, we boldly pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.
The blessing of God,
who provides for us, feeds us, and journeys with us,
☩ be upon you now and forever.
Go in peace. You are the body of Christ.
Thanks be to God.