Read: Acts 27:27-49
Ship wrecked. If the first century world had news papers, this would be the headline from the Roman Times. Paul, his companions, the other prisoners and the crew were in peril for some 14 days. Two weeks caught in a storm, two weeks without food (v.33-34), and two weeks without hope. The outlook is not good, but Paul who had made a valiant plea earlier in our reading about wintering earlier was overruled, now in the face of danger and without much hope, he reveals that he had a vision from God. A vision, which provided for the safety of the entire crew and all the prisoners. A vision that would still include a ship wreck. I think by this point in the journey, with having endured a terrible storm, losing supplies and strength, and hope they were ready to listen to Paul. I love what Paul does, seeing an opportunity to break the madness, encourages all to eat and breaks bread in the midst of uncertainty. Breaking bread has served to be a haven of peace for countless millions over the years. For two dejected disciples after the crucifixion, a stranger who happened to be Jesus, broke break in the presence and in the place of doubt and fear, Jesus left them hopeful and energized. Today, when we come together to break bread, we are fellowshipping with Trinity and with our brothers and sisters. Even if you world is full of turmoil and tragedy when we can pause and give thanks for the Story of Jesus, the Story that we ourselves entered into through our faith and baptism, we are able to find that peace that Paul writes about in Philippians that surpasses understanding. This grand Story gives our lives shape and meaning and it was the Story if you remember why Paul was on trial and on his way to
Rome in the first place.
Notice what happens, even though Paul breaks the routine of worry and fear on the ship, the vision that he had been given still included having to run the ship around on strange island. I think it is important to remember that just because we are followers of Jesus that we aren’t immune from suffering and hardships. I know we’ve spoke about this before, but we mustn’t forget that hard times are opportunities to grow a little more into the likeness of Jesus.
As chapter 27 comes to a close, all aboard the ship reach land safely. God once again was faithful to his word, his word that no one would even lose a hair in this ordeal. God always keeps his promises. The challenge for us is whether or not we will believe what God has said.