In a recent sermon, I talked about how the church is like a Viking Ship. I want to re-visit this concept as we prepare to wrap up 2021 and embark into 2022. Now before Covid 19, I felt like our ship had some pretty good momentum going. But when everything in the world shut down, it’s feels like we lost the wind in our sails for a while along with churches everywhere. And as much as we like to think we can control the wind, we really can’t. But compared to many other types of sailing ships, the Viking ship has one major advantage: It can travel coasting on the wind, but when the wind stops what does a Viking ship do? Those on board take out their oars and row until they find the wind again. Viking ships depended upon the crew working together, and every job is important. The person guiding the direction of the ship is important, the person beating the drum to keep the beat for the rowers to stay in sync with one another is important, and the rowers themselves are important.
Over the past few years, many of our good rowers have gone on to be with Jesus. When a rower on a Viking ship is no longer able to row, how does the Viking ship keep moving forward? Someone has to pick up that oar and keep rowing. And they need to do so knowing that if they get tired that someone else will be there to relieve them. Because if you have one or two really good rowers trying to fight the current by themselves, they are going to become exhausted eventually.
But we don’t honor those who have made sacrifices on our behalf by complaining about the lack of crew members or the amount of work that still needs to be done. The best way we can honor those who came before us is to pick up their oar and keep paddling ourselves. Because eventually the wind will return to our sails, eventually we will regain the momentum we might have lost. But to do that we need to keep rowing.
In order to keep this steward-ship moving forward, we need lots of crew members working together. For some of us, it has been a while since we’ve been able to serve in the ways we used to. Covid forced us to do some things differently. But now, we are at the point where we need to ask ourselves: if we are part of this ship, how can we begin to use our gifts again to serve God and others in this place?
We have Steward-Ship pamphlets available on our church website and at the church. We want you to take these pamphlets home with you and pray about them for a while. Prayerfully consider the many gifts God has given you, consider the many things you have to be thankful for, and let us know how you would like to keep this steward ship moving. And on the first Sunday we are together in 2022, we encourage you to bring these completed pamphlets to the church. That Sunday will not simply be a time where we will bring our gifts to God, because we will all be receiving the gift of watchwords for 2022 to give us direction and hope. In the pamphlet, we invite you to recall a time when someone helped you at Friedland. It might have been someone here today or someone who is now with Jesus. And with that time in mind, we invite you to consider how you might be able to help someone in this congregation or in our community through gifts of your time, your talent, and your treasure. It is my prayer in the days to come that we will encourage and support one another in our joint mission to serve Jesus and our neighbor as we keep our ship moving forward.