At the end of Mark 4, Jesus commands his disciples to make a small boat ready to depart and pass over the Sea of Galilee. His intention is recoup and get rest after spending an entire day ministering and teaching the crowds. Their boat, though, is caught in a violent storm, one that threatens to doom the heavenly kingdom which has only recently been inaugurated. But this storm was no accident; it was all part of God’s plans for his followers.
Seasons of great grief and harrowing loss often make me recognize the relative “cheapness” of my profession. The most basic function of a pastor, at the human level, is to put together words in order to comfort or convict. But in times of abject loss, grief, despair, and suffering, words can often feel cheap — wholly deficient at addressing life’s emotional turmoil. What do we do, then, with this grief? David’s cry in Psalm 13 shows us how we can respond.
In this episode of the Ministry Minded Podcast, I share some thoughts about God’s grace even in the midst of life’s most terrifying seasons and how God’s goodness is always greater than we remember it — his goodness exceeds our expectations. When we look back over the course of our lives, we will only have witnessed a fraction of how infinitely good God is to us.
For the past several weeks, I have been unable to escape the incredible sermon that was delivered by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. What caught my attention, though, was learning that Mr. Gerson delivered this sermon only a few short days after being discharged from the hospital for depression.
Mooring refers to something permanent or fixed to which a ship is secured. It’s what keeps a vessel protected from the perilous waves that could otherwise leave it adrift. The mooring is absolutely essential to the life of any seafaring vessel. Similarly, unless we are moored and fastened to something (Someone) permanent, we, too, will be tossed about, to and fro, in this life.
Comedy is, perhaps, the most subjective of the arts. Humorous entertainment strikes some in the funny bone and whizzes over the heads of others, leaving a large no-man’s-land where factions manifest as devotees to some comedic form or another champion the cause of their realm of humor as being the purest or most “hashtag lit.”
Psalm 18 is one of David’s most recognized psalms. It is a highly regarded piece of poetry, not only for its biblical weight but for its lyrical beauty. Yet, the true weight and glory of Psalm 18 is unfolded once you are taken captive by that which captivated the psalmist himself. Namely, the all-surpassing, never-stopping deliverance of his God.
Engaging in ministry is, at times, a troubling prospect. There’s so much that’s unknown and unpredictable that it is very easy to get distracted or discouraged by the circumstances around you. But, in a very strange way, Jesus endeavors to encourage his apostles for their ministry by reminding them of two of the most significant promises in all of Scripture.