and while they were sailing Jesus fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”
In addition to crosses, fish, and monograms, we sometimes find a ship used as a symbol for the Christian faith. The explanations of this choice are thought-provoking.
One source claims that “as those outside of Noah’s Ark were destroyed, the ship became a perfect early symbol of the Church with its associations with ‘the barque of Peter, the Fisherman.’ In the same vein, the main part of a church’s interior, the place where the people worship, is called a “nave,” from the Latin “navis” — ship.
Another commentator contends that “the ship of course symbolizes the church as a whole, making safe passage through stormy waters …. The Church is like a ship, buffeted by the waves but not swamped, for she has with her experienced pilot, Christ.”
God, as we travel the stormy seas of life, help us to focus our attention so keenly on the presence of Christ in our midst that we will keep our trust in You. Amen.