A Travellerspoint blog


Off the long coast of Chile

sunny 66 °F

Aboard the Silver Whisper at 9:15 am on January 30, 2022

HYMN: O Worship the King, all glorious above

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
let the whole earth stand in awe of him.

Let us pray. Deliver us, O Lord, when we draw near to you, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections, we may worship you in spirit and in truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A reading from Paul’s letter to the Colossians

Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (3:12-17)

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation!
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving;
and raise a aloud shout to him with psalms!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
O that today you would hearken to his voice. (1-7)

A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (6:19-21)

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.

A Reflection The Reverend Hope H. Eakins

Jesus was about to leave them, and he called his disciples together to say goodbye.
“When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted,” says the Gospel. Some doubted? How could they doubt? They had been through so much together and seen so many signs. They were there when Jesus healed the lepers and when he walked on water. They saw him on the cross when all seemed lost. But then their hopes were raised again with the report that his tomb was empty. Even though it was hard to believe the women’s tale that Jesus had risen from the dead, they saw him come into the room and say, “Peace be with you.” And now on the last time they were to be with him, “some worshipped him and some doubted.” And we do too. Sometimes we worship and sometimes we doubt.

Worship is not just keeping holy the Lord’s Day, not just going to church. Worship is stopping what we are doing when we have an experience of God, when our breath catches in our throat and when we can’t explain what we feel, but we know it is a holy moment. Worship happens when we feel earth and heaven touch and we are filled with awe and wonder and gratitude and we stop and give thanks.

I think every person has had a time when they wondered if they are all there is or if there really might be a God. Those of us with good parents and good Sunday Schools get taught that God is in heaven and Jesus loves the little children, but still we wonder if it is true, if somebody up there, somebody out there, cares for us. We wonder if we are rewarded for good and punished for evil, if creation started with a Big Bang or with God saying, “Let there be light.” Sometimes we wrestle with those questions for a lifetime, sometimes faith comes and then wavers as life wavers, but in those remarkable moments when God seems real, we want to recognize the fact; we want to fall down and worship. It is what the Wise Men did when they saw the babe in the manger and knew that he was Messiah come to them. It is why we come here together in the Show Lounge, recognizing that there are more important things than Trivia and the Chilean fjords or at least hoping that there are.

And in the hoping sometimes we remember a still small voice bringing comfort when our hearts were broken, or the wonder of a universe so splendid that we can’t imagine creation happening by chance, or a sense of forgiveness when we have done something wrong. And in the remembering we want to mark the place where it happened, to set it apart, consecrate it, remember it and maybe return to it.

We saw lots of those set apart places on Chiloé. Chiloé is a little island. But it is covered by so many churches that Silversea planned a tour of churches alone – although because this is Chile we were not allowed inside any of them. The churches were built by Christian missionaries soon after the conquistadors arrived. Within a hundred years they had built 79 churches and now there are almost 200 of them. So why did they do it? Well they had some good reasons and some bad ones. There were obviously political factors, the desire of explorers to conquer the land and convert the native peoples to Christianity. But the missionaries weren’t just trying to force their faith on the natives; they also were excited about it and wanted to share it. What they wanted to share was a faith so vibrant that it called them across oceans to preach the good news that God’s only Son had come to dwell among us, news so exciting, so life-changing that we would bow down and give thanks and worship. And so they built churches, as many as they could, each with a tower as tall as they could make it, places set apart to gather and give thanks and sing praise and listen for God’s word and get fed by God’s very self, places to worship.

So assuming that we are not going to get off this vessel and follow in the footsteps of the conquistadors, what difference does this make to us?

I think there are two answers. First, I think we need to be mindful of the times and places God when speaks to us. We ought to note and remember the time the sunset was so magnificent that we knew that it was a display of the Creator’s handiwork and remember the brilliant colors and plunging sun when we wonder if there really is a God. We need to remember where and when we fell in love, where and when our child was healed, where and when we found the strength to do what seemed impossible, where and when we believed that God cares and cares about us.

You know all the theologians in the world can give proofs of God’s existence and all the conquistadors of Spain can explain how God wants to be worshipped, but none of that explanation matters unless we have experienced the mercy and affection and love of Someone beyond us. And when we have that experience of the divine, when our hearts beat faster, when tears come to our eyes, we can have no other response but worship. And so we bow down and bend the knee and kneel before the Lord our Maker. And when we do that, when we worship, we find joy and meaning in our life.

But people being people, we forget about that joyfulness, and so we need to worship together, and tell our stories together and listen to what our forebears have passed on to us as the Word of God because our hearts sing louder when we sing together, because our hope grows stronger when we hear of other hope fulfilled, because our burdens are lighter when we share them.

The churches of Chiloé have stood for hundreds of years. The people come to them to be married, to christen their babies, to teach their children, and to bury their dead. They come to worship God not so much for God’s sake but for their own sake. And that I think is just the way God wants it. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and raise a loud shout to him with psalms!

The Prayers

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.
For all people in their daily life and work;
For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone.
For this community, the nation, and the world;
For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.
For the just and proper use of your creation;
For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.
For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;
For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy.
For the special needs and concerns of this congregation.
For the crew of this ship, for guests arriving and departing.
Hear us, Lord;
For your mercy is great.
We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life.
We will exalt you, O God our King and praise your Name for ever and ever.
We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom.
Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them.
We pray to you also for the forgiveness of our sins.
Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; in your compassion forgive us our sins, known and unknown, things done and left undone;
and so uphold us by your Spirit that we may live and serve you in newness of life.

And let us pray in the words that Jesus 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.

The Blessing

May God’s comfort and peace rest upon you and all those you love in this world and the next; and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be with you now and always. Amen.

HYMN: All creatures of our God and King

The Dismissal

Go forth in peace to love and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Officiants: The Reverend Hope H. Eakins, The Reverend William J. Eakins; Music: Alex Manev

Posted by HopeEakins 14:16 Archived in Chile

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Hope's meditation is absolutelty superb!! Hal B.

by BuckinghamHal

After a disappointing sermon in a freezing church this morning, I enjoyed yours even more. I may have to read it more than once.

by JaneKline

You missed St. John's annual meeting; of course you will have a copy of the facts. Jane must have been at a different church. It was so warm, I had to take off my coat and Todd's sermon had some thought provoking ideas on 'what is the church" It was blissfully short BJ and I got there early, left at noon. Three hours on a hard bench is.....bottom painful?

Where next?

Love Harriet

by Seabury

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