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Boat (Being in it)

“The image of Christ and His disciples in a boat is traditionally used to illustrate the Church. God both permits storms and delivers us through them, so that we can see His protection more clearly. Christ's rebuke of the storm is also an illustration of His calming the tempests in the human soul.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 8:23-27)

“Following the Lord Jesus involves far more than simply getting into a boat. The following which Christ requires of us is the self-denial of bearing our cross. The boat is the Church, wherein we are joined to Him. This ship may seem frail at times before the tempests of this world, which threaten to swamp us (Matthew 8:24) – At times we suspect that our boat is going to be “covered with the waves” while He sleeps (Mt 8:24). The Lord allows us to be tested by the tossing seas of the world around us, and yet He controls both storm and calm…in the Lord we find sure passage through the storms of this life. Let us understand the Church as a boat in which we are pledged members of the crew. The owner and Master of this vessel sets the course. When we come aboard the Church and embrace the mystery of Christ, we accept both His authority and His destination. He blesses and trains us, the faithful, and provides us with a rightful place in the nave. (This word, applied to the gathering halls of our churches, derives from the Latin term for “ship.”)” (Dynamis 6/18/2020)

“We often face spiritual and emotional storms and feel tossed about like a small boat on a big lake. In spite of terrifying circumstances, if we trust our lives to Christ for His safekeeping, He will give us peace in any storm.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 6:18)

“There are two things that keep me from despair. One of them is faith in God. I’ve lost a lot of faith in the government, the medical community and other people over the past three months. I’ve also gained a lot of faith in people like first responders, grocery store workers and teachers. My faith in God has not wavered. My faith in God’s plan for my life has not wavered. My desire to work towards salvation has not wavered. Like those disciples on the boat, I am concerned about the waves and how they seem to be throwing me around these days. But I also know that the Lord is still in my boat, even if it seems like He’s sleeping. And that gives me comfort…The other thing that keeps me from despair is staying busy, asking what can I do on a given day to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Maybe my part of the solution today is wearing a mask to the store. Maybe it is quietly praying. Or maybe it’s being vocal in helping someone, or being a good listener, or trying to offer encouragement and sound advice. I am motivated by a desire to give my best today.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“ ‘Keep us, our God; for your ocean is so wide and our boat is so small.’ How truly beautiful those words are. They speak to us with a special meaning precisely because we understand that they might well be uttered by each of us at some point on our sometimes difficult journey on the sea of life. We are so weak, so helpless, and yet so forgetful of our God’s loving kindness. Tossed to and fro at the mercy of circumstance, we would likely perish if He did not hold us in his providential care…And so, even though we each journey in a “small boat” on a “wide ocean”, we can surely trust our God to guide and protect us even in the worst of storms. We need only ask him to keep us this day, and every day that yet remains.” (Rev. Andew J. Demotses)


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