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Epistle: Ephesians 1:11-23

11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.   15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

My Mom and Dad took me on a trip to The Netherlands when I was in High School. Dad had set up a reunion to get together with others whom he had met 30 years earlier. After World War 2, Dad participated in a work/travel program that provided an opportunity for students and young adults to go to places in Europe and help rebuild communities damaged or destroyed during the war. The program required the participants to work six weeks then travel around Europe the following six weeks.

Dad participated in the program in 1948. 30 years later, he coordinated a reunion with his fellow workers. Mom and I went along for the trip.

Before the reunion, we traveled across the countryside outside of Amsterdam. Always one who wanted to see the countryside and rural areas of the country, we took the scenic route that was printed on the map. We ended up on an old brick and stone road that became more of a path than a road. We eventually found ourselves in the middle of a grazing field for cows on either side of the old road.

We continued along until we came to a creek. There was no way we could drive through it, and to turn around seemed nearly impossible.

It was then that we saw a man on the other side of the creek standing on a small wooden raft. It was attached to a rope that spanned the creek. A quick wave of his hand let us know that he was on his way. He pulled on the rope and brought the wooden raft to our side of the creek.

With his lack of English and our lack of Dutch, he was able to tell us that he could take us and the car across on this wooden ferry, not much bigger in size than the car itself. We had no choice but to accept the offer.

And it worked. Dad paid him a hefty tip and thanked him as best as he could.

The man and his raft carried us from one shore to the other.

Once we get over to the other side, we are thankful for the raft. But the time comes to get on road and move on.

As we gather for All Saints Sunday, I will remember those who have gone before me to the other shore, especially Mom and Dad.

I will also give than for all who have been on the raft with me for these many years of ministry, knowing there are many more yet to come. In writing these devotions, I have been ever mindful that I have not been on the journey alone. Thank you for carrying ME!

I am sure that other creeks will need to be crossed. Know that God has brought us safe to shore before, and God will do the same again. The boat may be different, with a different captain and crew, but that’s okay. God has a wonderful way of providing for us in ways we never expected.

Thank you for sailing with me. I am thankful we are doing it together.

God bless you.

Let us pray: Good and gracious God, thank you for the saints in the boat with us, and those who have sailed on. Captain our ships, and lead us safely to shore. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen

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