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Thought for the weekend

Rev Gareth Burke Stranmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Belfast

Have you ever wondered about who has the fascinating job of being 'the namer of storms'? Each new storm that has come our way in recent weeks has been given a designated name in alphabetical order. Last weekend we had Storm Ciara and now we're getting a battering from Storm Dennis. Wouldn't it be an interesting job getting to choose the names? The only thing is that while the names all sound fine - even pleasant - the storms are anything but pleasant. Some of you know that first hand. Your property or land has received a battering from the wind and the rain and it will be some time before you can get things sorted out. Our thoughts are with you.

Jesus knew all about storms. When he was here on earth he spent a lot of time in and around the Sea of Galilee. I'm given to understand that the calm waters of that lake can very quickly be whipped up into a frenzy. On one occasion when Jesus was in a boat with his disciples they found themselves caught up in one of these storms. The disciples were really panicking. They felt sure that they were going to drown. Not only were they panicking but, to be honest, they were a little annoyed with Jesus. He had fallen asleep and was completely unaware of what was going on. So they woke him and said: 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?'

What happened next was truly incredible. The Bible tells us that:

'Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves. 'Quiet! Be still!'

'Then the wind died down and it was completely calm' (Mark 4: 35 - 41)'

What about that? I mean, if I had gone out into the street on one of those stormy days recently and had started shouting to the wind and rain commanding them to stop my neighbours would have thought I was really weird.

So how come Jesus was able to exercise such control over nature? Easy answer -there's no one like him. He's the Son of God. He's mighty and powerful and remarkable. He can control the wind, walk on water, raise the dead and save sinners like you and me.

There's no one like him. Jesus Christ, the Son of God , our Saviour.

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