fear and faith appearance (Jonah Series 2/8)

The boat is heaving on the waves – at one moment riding high on the crest of a wave – and the next moment plunging downward into a great trough. Water is coming across the bow and into the boat. Everyone on board is soaked and exhausted. Everyone is afraid.

And then, all of a sudden, in a flash, it’s over. The wind stops blowing. The waves stop their pounding. The boat stops its rising and falling. There is peace and calm.

Yet astonishingly, in this moment of peace, in this moment of calm – all those  on board the boat are suddenly afraid. The sea is suddenly placid, but in this new moment those on board live with a new kind of fear.

As we did last week, this morning we have to ask. Which boat are we talking about? From everything I’ve said so far, we could either be talking about the disciples in their boat on the Sea of Galilee or about the sailors on that ship of Tarshish on the Mediterranean Sea. Continue reading



A sermon preached this past Sunday, February 22nd – in a continuing series on the Apostles’ Creed. In the writing of this sermon I have made use of an essay by Richard Burridge in the book Exploring and Proclaiming the Apostles’ Creed.





We come this morning to the second section of the Apostle’s Creed and to the heart of our Christian confession.


We confess: I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.


As we consider the heart of the Apostles’ Creed this morning; as we consider this statement of our fundamental trust in God; I’d like us to focus on the particularity that lies at heart of our confession. I’d like us to look at the particularity that defines us as Christians.


But first, what do I mean by this notion, this idea of particularity?


Well to explain the notion of particularity, we could begin by acknowledging that in Canadian society today there is tremendous interest in spirituality. There is a growing search for the deeper meaning of life. Men and women want to go beyond the mundane, beyond the everyday – which often seems meaningless. They want to reach beyond the superficiality of so much of human life in order to get hold of some deeper level of substance and significance. And the language that our culture applies to this search, to this desire for deeper meaning and significance, is the language of spirituality.

Continue reading