A Travellerspoint blog


January 16, 2022

sunny 82 °F

Aboard the Silver Whisper January 16, 2022 at 9:15 am

HYMN: All People that on Earth do Dwell

This is the day that the Lord has made!
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Let us pray. O God, you have made one family of all the peoples of the earth; grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations under your fold; pour out your spirit upon us, and hasten the coming of your Kingdom on earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Psalm 96

Tell it out among the nations: "The LORD is King!
he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity."

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder and all that is in it; let the field be joyful and all that is therein.

Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy before the LORD
when he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness
and the peoples with his truth. (9-13)

A reading from Paul’s letter to the Church at Ephesus

For Christ is our peace; he has ... broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God. (2:14, 17-22)

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.

A Reflection The Reverend Hope H. Eakins

From the reading we just heard: Christ is our peace; he has ... broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.

Seventeen years ago, John borrowed money from his brother. Sometimes he gets to thinking it wasn’t set up as a loan, but was really a gift. Sometimes John sort of forgets about the whole transaction – and he has never begun to pay it back. John’s brother doesn’t really need John to repay him, but he needs to have the loan acknowledged and so he feels offended and resentful, and John feels a little embarrassed and guilty. Over the years the brothers have grown apart; there is a dividing wall, a hostility that separates them.

Mary is a smart third year law student, interviewing at a big firm. The managing partner offers her a job, but it’s not a job that challenges her. She’s black and he’s white, you see, and she knows he’s looking for someone to make the HR stats look good, she knows that she would be hired as window dressing. The racism that crackles across the partner’s desk sits as a dividing wall that will always separate them until they are honest with each other.

There are dividing walls in every life, walls built in our hearts by betrayal and infidelity and embarrassment and walls built in our society by all the bigotries and prejudices and –isms that infect our world.

St. Paul tells us that Jesus came to break down these walls, that Jesus came to end hostility and to bring peace, to keep us from being strangers and aliens to each other and join us together as brothers and sisters. St. Paul tells us that Jesus calls us to be a dwelling place for God, calls US to welcome God into our hearts and into our lives. And so we have to break down the dividing walls that separate us is because God will NOT dwell where hatred and suspicion and prejudice live.

Here we are in the Pacific Ocean because we sailed through 51 miles of the Panama Canal. Without the canal, we would have spent another 5 months travelling, gone another 12,000 miles to get to where we are. And we were able to get here because people like Balboa and Magellan and Drake had a vision that the world didn't have to be divided and started dreaming and engineering and planning to sail from ocean to ocean.

It can be the same for us all. We are on an adventurous journey on the Whisper with fellow travellers from many nations; we are meeting people with politics and interests and languages and attitudes that differ from ours. Sometimes that can be an exciting prospect and sometimes it can be a daunting one. And if we are like all the other people God has ever made, our lives off the Whisper are also woven together with those we love who differ from us and also with those we don’t love so much because they have hurt and betrayed us.

Love one another, says Jesus. But what if we can’t? What if we are like John who just wants his loan, his generosity to be recognized? What if we are like Mary who fears injustice and discrimination at the hands of her managing partner? The Scripture is clear; our peace, our reconciliation, our hope is in Christ. We aren’t going to get reconciled through our own efforts. We need to bring the discord and hatred and anger to God and beg for healing. Can a woman whose husband has run off with a bimbo ever forgive him or must she be haunted by her anger her whole life long? She can forgive, if she starts praying for him. Even if it is through gritted teeth, she can be faithful to her vow “’til death do us part” by asking God to bless him. And then bit-by-bit, with God’s grace, she can let go of her hatred and make room for God’s peace.

Love your neighbor as yourself, says Jesus. But sometimes we don’t, and sometimes we can’t. So we need to invite God into our conversations and stop thinking we are always right. We have to remember that God has created and that God loves every Muslim and redneck and transvestite God ever made. We need to put aside all the hurts we are nursing, all the righteous anger, and discover that love and acceptance rest better in our hearts than judgment and egotism. We need to be bridge builders instead of wall builders.

The beginning of peace has to be in Christ because it is only Christ who can lead us to beat our swords into plowshares and heal the anger and pain in our hearts. For once we start to offer the anger and pain to the One who loves us, it will be healed. Bridges and canals and ocean liners have created a shorter faster safer route across the world. Offering to God the barriers that separate us from one another can create a shorter faster and safer route to the peace that passes all understanding. May that peace be with us all.

The Prayers
Eternal God, in whose perfect Kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread your Spirit upon this earth that all people may be gathered as children of one Father, to whom we lift our hearts and voices praying, Let our cry come unto you.

Guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth: make them resolute in their efforts to lay a sure foundation of peace and care for all your people. Lord hear our prayer, And let our cry come unto you.

We pray for the community aboard the Whisper: bless the officers and staff and all who serve on this ship; keep us all safe and open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. Lord hear our prayer, And let our cry come unto you.

Mend the divisions that afflict us and separate us from one other, fill our hearts with tolerance and understanding and humility. Lord hear our prayer, And let our cry come unto you.

Protect those in the walk of the Pacific tsunami’s devastation; heal the suffering, the addicted, and the mentally ill; be with those at the end of their lives, and give strength to all who care for the sick. Lord hear our prayer, And let our cry come unto you.

Comfort all who are lonely and all who grieve, that they may know your care for them and for those they mourn. Lord hear our prayer, And let our cry come unto you.

We pray for ourselves: keep us mindful of our sins and of your forgiveness; fill us with repentance and lead us into your light. Lord hear our prayer, And let our cry come unto to you.

Give us grateful hearts, appreciative of all the blessings that are ours. Lord hear our prayer, And let our cry come unto you.

And now let us pray in the words our Savior taught us:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

HYMN: In Christ there is no East or West

The Blessing and Dismissal

The blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you now and remain with you always.
And now let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Officiant: The Reverend Hope H. Eakins
Preacher: The Reverend William J. Eakins
Pianist: Alex Manev
Usher: Andrea Ryan

Expected time of the next service: January 23rd at 9:15 am

A Prayer for Travellers
O God, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: Preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey’s end, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Posted by HopeEakins 19:46

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Hello Hope and Bill! Thank you for these wonderful reflections. We hope you continue to enjoy your journey and find God in the places you go. We certainly miss you and look forward to your safe return. If you need anyone to translate into Spanish for you, just give me a call! Lots of love to you both and to the lives you touch there.

by PJShake210

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