Courage to Explore: The Challenge for the Church

Image result for uss jeannette voyage

Following my sermon “Kingdom Adrift” where I told the story of the USS Jeanette and her crew (for an amazing story of courage and fortitude I recommend you read Hampton Sides’ account: In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeanette.) The story of their heroic journey seemed to me to have amazing parallels to the journey that the church is presently on. We too are exploring a vast unknown, and no one is completely sure what lies ahead. There are numerous examples throughout Scripture and the history of the Church when it seemed like the world was coming to an end only to discover that God had a way ahead for his people.

As I discussed this with my insightful associate pastor she pointed out that the church today may be very much like the USS Jeanette. Although she was a great ship, she could not take the crew where they needed to go. It took her crushing and sinking before the men could embark on the journey. Are we seeing that too? I wonder.

It seems to me that the most important thing is not the structures of religion, but the God who is with us and those with whom we are travelling. His Kingdom come…

I am more convinced than ever that we are called to be brave explorers of an unknown and uncharted future. The kind of Christian who seeks security will go down with ship. Only the brave inspired by faith will push on.


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