Happy New Year to you and your family and welcome to the very first Sunday School lesson of 2023.
Once again, you all are invited to listen and read and create and pray around one particular story. This month, our story is “The Captain of the Storm” and is found on pages 236-243 of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
Children: Please begin by listening to our story being read aloud to you in this Learning Together email. Your whole family could listen together. Because pictures bring stories to life, I hope you are able to follow along in your own book. (Just ask to have your own copy of the book!)
Bad weather storms – Are you afraid of them? If you are, I understand why! Storms can be scary, and we know they will happen in everyone’s lives. Some storms are worse and can be more frightening than others, like the one in our story. This one took place on a big lake, which is the worst place to be in a storm, called the Sea of Galilee, and Jesus and His friends were on boats in the middle of this big lake, and a huge storm came up, and they all thought they would die. Of course, Jesus, the great Rescuer, had other plans!
Adults: The Biblical reference to this story is from Mark 4 and Matthew 8. Jesus’ suggestion to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee sounds to us like a simple procedure. However, several factors made such a journey difficult. First, few inhabitants of the west side of Galilee ever ventured to the east side. That side was inhabited mostly by non-Jews who worshipped a variety of gods, which naturally made God-fearing Jews uncomfortable. Second, the boats Jesus’ disciples used were small fishing boats. They were not intended for traversing the middle of the lake, which was 14 miles long by 8 miles wide. And finally, the geography surrounding the lake made it susceptible to sudden storms that could turn a calm lake into a violent sea.
Note that Jesus and his followers weren’t all in one boat, though that is a common perception. Many lives were at stake when a furious storm arose. However, many of the disciples were experienced fishermen and expert sailors. So one might expect that they would handle things on their own. The fact that they turned to Jesus for help likely meant that they were at the end of their means—they had tried everything they knew to combat the storm and had failed. At the point of pure desperation, they woke Jesus with screams of terror.
~This week’s prayer: I must ask God to calm my storms and trust that He will in His time. Amen.
Sunday School will meet for story discussion and a craft this month on January 22, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. after the church service. Hope to see you then!
Until next time,
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Copyright 2023. Resurrection Lutheran Church, New Berlin, WI
RESURRECTION LUTHERAN CHURCH
Rev. Steve Rutter, Pastor
Julie Johnson, Worship Music Coordinator
Steph Albert, Worship Music
Larry Gnatzig, Office Administration
12400 West Coldspring Road
New Berlin, Wisconsin 53151