Strength of Faith

A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him

As mentioned last week, over the months of Ordinary Time ahead, a time dedicated to growth, we will focus on how we live out the Christian faith, how we walk in Strength of Faith. Remember, we are focusing on our Strength of Faith.

The disciples are in the boat, we all know the story, they are afraid in the storm and Jesus wakes up, calms the storm, and asks them about the strength of their faith.

Obviously, Jesus, perfect God and man had faith, He was sleeping through the storm. He was confident that amid the storm, faith, and His Father, would see Him through. He had the same faith confronting torture, the cross, death, and the grave.

It does not really surprise us does it? Jesus lived in strength of faith, the disciples questioned and feared, they were at least, at that time, weak in their faith. 

But, what about us now? How does this storm experience relate to us, here in the 21st Century, not crossing many lakes or rivers in a boat? How about us in secure homes with GFI plugs and grounded electrical systems, and other safety and security measures?

Perhaps we do not fear storms, but the analogy of storms works because is speaks about all the other stresses we face. We can go to Jesus about those. We can say, Lord, don’t You care that I am perishing? But, that is not really the point Jesus is making in His gospel. It is not the lesson the Lord is impressing on us. Rather, bottom line, it is about strength of faith. It is Jesus asking us: Where’s your faith. “Why are you terrified?”

The question before us is whether we have the strength of faith to stand in the storm, to be the leader when others are running and hiding, to live the gospel in the face of evil and persecution. To hope when all is hopeless.

We have examples around us. Those men in the boat went on profess Jesus with strength and power across the world. We have the examples of our own fathers, godfathers, grandfathers, uncles, and the other special men in our lives who not only protected us but longed for us to learn the lessons necessary to be strong.

We have the example of all those who with strong faith fought the evil of slavery, who prayed in watch parties for freedom and who with us continue to this very day to stand up to inequality, the endemic sin of prejudice, and the inherent inequality still plaguing us.

We are called upon this very day to come forward, to walk through those doors, to appear here in this church, to say no to fear and raise up the holy and awesome name of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We are called to grow in faith, hope, and love so that fear may be removed from us and so we may stand in strength of faith! With strong faith, the power of our Father will see us through.

The Hamilton Hill Arts Center Proudly Invites Your Participation in the 15th Annual Celebration of Juneteenth from June 19th to 20th at the Central Park & Vale Cemetery, Schenectady.

All events are free and open to the public!

  • Friday Evening: Honoring Our Ancestors At Vale Cemetery’s Historic Ancestral Burial Ground
  • Saturday All Day: Food, Vendors, Health Fair, Youth Talent Show Performances By Local Talent, Non-Profit Expo, Kids’ Activities Historic Displays, Hair Braiding Competition & More!

The Hamilton Hill Arts Center is proud to bring our annual Juneteenth celebration to the Capital Region, in commemoration of the end of slavery and the beginning of freedom for ALL Americans. Juneteenth is now celebrated in thirty states, the District of Columbia, and is an officially recognized New York State holiday. Please join us at Schenectady’s historic Vale Cemetery- a recognized stop on the underground railroad- on the evening of June 19, and in beautiful Central Park, on June 20. There will be something for everyone!

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had become official (January 1, 1863). It had little impact on the Texans due to a lack of Union troops available to enforce the new Executive order. With the surrender of General Lee in April, 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’ s regiment, the forces were strong enough to overcome the resistance.

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