Waves of Mercy : Thursday Thoughts
     Phillips Memorial Baptist Church

Phillips Memorial Baptist Church
565 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island  02910



Rev. Dr. Amy Chilton: phillipsmemorialpastor@gmail.com

  Pastor Amy's Thursday Thoughts

Waves of Mercy

by Rev. Dr. Amy Chilton on 06/06/24

Yesterday evening we tried out a new beach near Pt. Judith (well, the beach is actually rather ancient, but we had never been there!). Being so early in the season, it was a bit chilly when we arrived. This did not, of course, keep my teen from swimming. Meanwhile her mother did some beach combing (and found beach glass!), reading, and general appreciation and observation of the ocean. (I attribute this difference in preferred beach activities to my having been raised on the Oregon coast and her having been raised on the California coast.)


The ocean always feels like a sacred place to me. Between the smells, the feel of the sand under my feet, the sounds of kids playing, and the lap of the waves, I almost always leave feeling relaxed and at peace. Even a gray and stormy day at the beach will do this for me. What a gift the ocean is!


A few months back I was reading Revelation 21 in a funeral service and was struck once again by John’s proclamation that in his vision of the end, “the sea was no more” (21:1). As much as I love the ocean, the people of Biblical times were much more ambivalent toward it. The ocean was a source of food and transportation, but it was also a source of chaos. It was moody, dangerous, and a route of transportation by which enemies came and invaded. Revelation is telling people that the chaos and uncertainty of the world will be gone in the end - but does it have to do away with the ocean?!


The Bible isn’t all doom and gloom about the sea. In Psalm 98:7 the sea is invited to praise the Lord: “let the sea roar, and all that fills it!” Genesis 1 tells us that God created the seas and sea animals. Jeremiah 5 reminds us that the sea remains under God’s commands, “I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail, though they roar, they cannot pass over it” (5:22).


This summer I hope that you get to spend some time at the ocean, contemplating its power and beauty. While I do pray that God’s presence rights this world of chaos and uncertainty, I’m also hopeful that this beautiful part of God’s creation will be redeemed along with the rest of God’s good creation. Afterall, the Psalmists believed that the ocean’s waves could praise God!




Pastor Amy

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