Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Close this search box.

Boats: routine transportation in Galilee

July 17, 2023

Daily Scripture

John 6:23-25, Matthew 9:1, 13:2

John 6
23 Some boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they had eaten the bread over which the Lord had given thanks. 24 When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

Matthew 9
1 Boarding a boat, Jesus crossed to the other side of the lake and went to his own city.

Matthew 13
2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he climbed into a boat and sat down. The whole crowd was standing on the shore.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

In inland Leawood, Kansas, “the lake” or “the boat” most often brings up mental images of relaxation and fun in a resort-type atmosphere. In Jesus’ day, for most of the people who lived in Galilee, “lake” and “boat” were matter of fact daily realities about “work” more than relaxation. Today, most of us “jump in the car” without thinking that’s anything very exotic. For most Galileans, “getting in the boat” was less a special event than a practical way to get around.

  • One big difference in the boats that sailed on Galilee from most of today’s small craft: the boats on Galilee had no motors. In ideal conditions, they might have had sails, but often oars were the only source of moving the boat through waves or currents. (Click here for information and pictures of an actual boat from Jesus’ day recovered from the Sea of Galilee.) In what ways can you make your “ordinary” means of transportation available for Jesus’ kingdom?
  • Boats in Galilee were small, so they could be a controlled space. Matthew 13:2 (like Luke 5:1-3) showed Jesus using a boat as a teaching platform. It gave him space from a gathered crowd yet was close enough that people could hear him clearly. At times the boat was a personal refuge: ““In the Gospels, Jesus frequently enters a boat on the Sea of Galilee in order to escape the crowds (Mk 3:94:1).” * Even Jesus sometimes needed a “safe” space. What are yours?

Lord Jesus, I sometimes forget that your life was not like a movie filled with constant intense scenes. Thank you for being with me on my “ordinary” days as well as the more dramatic ones. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Emily Stirewalt

Emily Stirewalt

Emily Stirewalt is an ordained Elder in the Missouri Annual Conference, and has served since 2007. She is thrilled to be specializing in pastoral care of elderly adults now as Resurrection's Silverlink Pastor. She is married to Randall, a special education teacher. They have two daughters, Elliott and Marlowe. When Emily is not in a care home sharing communion or with her family on another Kansas City adventure, you can find her curled up on the couch at home binge watching "Friends" or "Golden Girls."

I have a confession to make in today’s GPS insight. I am not my best self when I am in my car commuting to and from the office. It seems like no matter what time of year it is, there is something that brings me a bit of extra stress on I-435. In the winter, I worry about black ice. In the fall, back to school traffic and everyone getting back into a rhythm seems to take weeks to iron out. In the spring and summer, I see so much orange due to construction zones. And there always seems to be a traffic accident that threatens to slow me down and make me late. My patience is tested, and I find myself very frustrated to start my day.

A couple of weeks ago, one of Silver Link’s valued and dear Connection and Care Ministers (if you know Kay Kimes, consider yourself BLESSED) said to someone that she calls the miles she spends in the car to visit those on her care list her “Jesus miles.” I was so touched by her language and approach. I instantly knew that I needed to see my commute in the same way. I would love to say that I have completely changed my attitude about my commute every day, but growth takes time and change is hard. So, every day is becoming a bit better as I try and hear Kay’s voice reminding me that “Jesus miles” are a gift from God–a holy way of looking at something ordinary like a commute.

As I think about the miles on the lake that Jesus and his disciples spent rowing, I wonder about the stresses and anxieties they faced. Storms, not enough fish to catch, being exhausted from all the demands of ministry–they surely knew what it was like to feel overwhelmed by the demands of their “commute,” as I do sometimes. What a gift Kay gave me without even knowing it. A reframing of what it means to travel and do ministry every day. I am grateful for her and Jesus’ example both as I look forward to some more “Jesus miles” to come.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Article “Boat” in Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit and Tremper Longman III, general editors, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998, p. 102.