When was the last time your love was expanded? Perhaps it was at a summer camp when you learned that someone very different from yourself would be a cabin mate. Perhaps it was during an act of service when you co-joined someone’s significant need with your equal and effective offering. Perhaps it was when you were on a business trip, or teaching a child to swim, or tutoring a teenager. When our love is expanded then we have emulated aspects of the text assigned for this Sunday — The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
In the parable, Jesus defined neighbor not as a member of the household of faith of Israel but as a Samaritan who would risk his life to save a brother or sister in need. Many people would have considered it anathema that Jesus made a Samaritan, the bitter enemy of the Jews, the hero of the story. Jesus taught that the true neighbor goes the extra mile to bind up the wounds of the one in need, and in so doing has his or her love expanded.
This Sunday at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, we observe “Sea Sunday,” an annual celebration of the Seafarer and Port Ministry at the Port of Palm Beach. Our Deacon, The Rev. Clay Waddell is the coordinator of the ministry and on a regular basis, Clay is both serving as pastor and caregiver to and for ship and dock workers and inviting others to volunteer in this ministry of service. Thanks to Clay’s ministry, many, many people experience expanded expressions of love.
Please read Clay Waddell’s message below and plan to join us this Sunday.
Celebrate Sea Sunday
Everyday there are at least three deliveries from UPS, Amazon, and FedEx in my neighborhood. One of these often stops at my door. Sometimes I am there to say thank you to the driver, but mostly they come and go without notice. This is the final link in the supply chain we have all been hearing about lately. Most of the items received in these deliveries originated in other countries. So, who made this possible, and who is there to thank? This Sunday we will be celebrating Sea Sunday. Sea Sunday is celebrated around the world in churches with love for the seafarers who bring us 90% of all the things we need and want. It is a day for celebrating and saying prayers for these unknown and isolated men and women whose work is vital for the functioning of the world as we know it. Seafarers may not be hated like the Samaritans were, but they are often ignored and forgotten about. Even in our own port cities.
This Sunday we will have a special prayer for those who “go down to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters.” We invite you to come and celebrate Sea Sunday and learn more about how you, the people of Bethesda, have made a difference and have extended your love for the strangers who are not forgotten. Jesus first called fishermen to follow him – St. Paul made three sea voyages that we know of and Columba and his companions set off in a small boat to bring the Good News to Scotland. Yes, the sea is a major theme in our Christian story, as we at Bethesda-by-the-Sea extend our love to those who labor on the sea.
The Rev. Clayton Waddell
Deacon for Port Ministry