Good morning and thanks for coming on a walk with me. It is a cloudy day this Tuesday, and there are a few drops of rain on my window. We need some rain right now in New Hampshire, at least in the Concord area.
How are you today? You could feel better? I think many of us feel that way right now.
When I was talking with my son Ken a day ago, he made the statement that these are bleak days. Inside I know that is true, but it causes me to be sad to think that younger generations feel that way when I have been a part of an optimistic generation. At the end of the Second World War and then in the 1950’s, America was united with bright prospects for the future. We had problems as a nation, but we were united in confronting them and trying to overcome problems in our own country and abroad. Today the fabric of our country seems torn, and a healing of our wounds appears almost impossible. Then what are we supposed to do? THIS IS MY ANSWER -THROW OUT AN ANCHOR!
That sounds strange for a “landlubber” to say, for I am definitely a “landlubber.” My ancestors on one side of the family left from Braintree, Massachusetts to be residents of Braintree, Vermont. They even brought a cow along with them. That’s me, inside a farmer with a cow on the land mind you!
Oh, I have had experience with boats but only one good one. That was when my childhood friend Al Tobey invited me for a week at his summer home in Kennebunk Beach, Maine. He had a flat bottom rowboat, and we could row way out into the passages in the marsh behind his house. How I loved that time,and many years later, I tried to recapture that joy but miserably failed.
As a youth director at the beginning of my ministry, I was invited to Roundpond, Maine. Out with a friend in a small boat with the fog coming in, our one horsepower motor began to fail.My friend Bob took off his shoe and began to beat the motor. We were going to head for an island in the fog, and that is when I first thought – for heaven’s sake and mine, throw out the anchor.
Later, I had the bright idea I’d like my own rowboat for the river behind our house in Attleboro. As a gift, my wife Dale bought me a rowboat and a dock. The day came for my first cruise. I stepped into the boat, and it flipped over. There I was soaking wet and up to my knees in muck. Throw out the anchor! Dale took one look at me and said, “You get right back into that boat.” I did and then got caught in the river weeds. I tried rowing a few times more and then threw in the anchor permanently. It is hard to believe our son Ken is building a huge wooden sailboat. Not much of a chance when it is finished that this landlubber will step foot on it unless it is firmly anchored.
Anchors have been around for many centuries. They began with a rock tied to a rope. Eventually, they were made of iron with flukes that would dig into the sea bottom to hold a ship fast. And as an anchor could hold fast in a storm, it became a symbol of Christianity. When the storm of life comes upon you, throw out the anchor to hold you fast and safe.
In the sanctuary of Second Church in Attleboro, there was a magnificent stained-glass window, and in that window was a glass, inlaid anchor. Jesus Christ is our anchor in times such as these. Forgotten by many now with some of His churches even closed, His teachings need to return to the people of our nation. Now is a time when our boat is being tossed by waves of disease and violence and turmoil and injustice, and we need an anchor to steady our ship, our nation, and we ourselves. May I urge you to think of Jesus? He will walk with you in illness. He will be with you in turmoil. He will sustain you in the winds of change. It is Jesus who says build your house upon rock not upon the sand. If ever there was a time to return to our faith of strength, goodness,kindness, and justice, it is now.
This boat of mine is all too fragile, and it is beaten by storms and winds. Still I will look ahead with steadfastness as the wind, rain, and lightening assail me – yea even unto death,for my anchor, my Lord Jesus Christ, holds me in His arms. He cries out to you as He does to me – in the storm of life, I am your anchor – I will hold you fast in this hurricane of life today. Hold to me, I am your anchor. IN TIMES LIKE THESE – REMEMBER JESUS IS OUR ANCHOR IN LIFE -HE IS OUR ROCK AND OUR SALVATION.
“And now may the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from another. Amen.”