John Wesley (1703-1791) the founder of the Methodist Church said that his understanding of the Christian life was significantly challenged during a terrible storm on the open sea as he traveled from Britain to the American colonies.
He was terrified.
But there were some Moravian missionaries on the ship who were not. They had a peace and calm that made no sense to Wesley under the life-threatening circumstances.
They believed that God was with them.
Actually, it was more than a belief, it was an experience.
Wesley had all the right beliefs about God but when it counted he seemed to be missing the experience.
This Sunday at the Gathering Church we will begin a short series on Psalm 23, the familiar statement of a confident experience with God. I’ve entitled it Surely, because of the way it ends.
There are several levels of confidence with God or un-confidence. Sometimes we may be at the Hopefully level or the Maybe level. King David, himself, sometimes experienced the Doubtful level or even the Unlikely and No Way levels.
Psalm 23 assumes that we live in a dangerous world, full of threats, challenges and storms.
Is it possible to grow our confidence in God?
Without doubt it sure would be better than stress, worry and fear, or numbing ourselves with mindless pursuits.
Let’s see if we can grow together.
Let’s see if we can grow our capacity to rest in God.
See you this Sunday.
artwork: The Good Shepherd by Daniel Bonnell