Photo Credit: Jonathan Cressman
Deep in the Sea is the first theme of Lent. “Lent opens with God’s voice ringing out, first to all creation through Noah and then to all humanity through Jesus. God’s message is “You belong to me, and I belong to you.” This week’s texts tie together the powerful biblical theme of our identity in Christ through the cleansing waters of baptism. Bringing together the intention of the story of Noah, with the culmination of salvation for the unrighteous through Jesus Christ’s willing sacrifice.
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.
1 Peter 3:18-22
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Questions for Discussion/Reflection
1. Connecting Noah's Ark with Christ as our boat was one idea from the message. How might that image be helpful as you encounter struggles and trials in life?
2. The sermon talked about turning a stone over in your hand as you reflect on how God carries us through the waters and calls us to deep relationship. What did that practice reveal to you?
3. Pray the following Prayer of Confession and Assurance again. Read the words, and allow the words to read you.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE
Many: Deep calls to deep. We call to you from the depths of our hearts.
One: We confess when we have stayed too close to the surface,
avoiding our neighbors.
We confess when we have felt in over our heads.
needing our neighbors.
(Silence. Or name the forces that keep us from deep relationship.)
Deep calls to deep. You call to us from the depth of your love.
Many: Calling us to deep relationship. We come to you, God.