All at Sea OS 7 23rd February 2020

Vicar’s Reflection: All at sea. OS 7, 23rd February 2020

When you are at sea there are no roads or traffic signs. There are rules of seamanship that govern how ships behave when they encounter each

other on the high seas. Ships are meant to pass to the right (starboard) of each other. Once during war exercises an American aircraft carrier saw a light on the horizon approaching head-on so signalled ahead: ‘Turn to starboard.’ There was no response, so they signalled again: ‘Turn to

starboard we have a General aboard!’ again no response as the light got nearer. Alarm began to spread so they signalled again: ‘Turn to starboard! We are an aircraft carrier!’ This time there was a response: ‘You turn to starboard; we are a lighthouse!’ When at sea, what you need is the objectivity of a good chart and fixed reference points. Today the Global Positioning System (GPS), and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) provide these. In the time of Moses God gave the Ten Commandments to help a newly formed society to govern itself justly. Jesus also gave us the great commandment to love. In today’s reading it has a specially challenging edge: ‘love your enemies” Like the GPS/GMT system the Bible and Jesus’ teachings give us firm reference points by which to navigate the stormy waters of life: “Love God with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbour as yourself.”

Alex Czerwonka

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