Today’s reading: Acts 27:27-44
In today’s reading Paul is shipwrecked for the fourth time in his missionary journeys. The night before some of the sailors were going to escape the ship on a lifeboat but Paul seems to have convinced them not to leave. It turns out to be a good thing they didn’t because the next day they see a cove. They attempt to sail to it. However, the ship runs aground on a shoal and breaks up when they are trying to reach it.
While there is little doubt that this chapter records historic event, “The Ship” has long been a metaphor for the Church. We see here some interesting illusions within that metaphor. It is Paul, the Church’s minister aboard the ship, who gives the sailors the wise advice. Had they left the ship on at the first sign of danger they very well may have been lost at sea. Staying with the ship longer got them to within sight of shore and even when the ship breaks apart on the shoal it is the pieces of the ship that the survivors cling to that get them to shore. All the people that stayed with the ship and listened to Paul are saved.
It is imperative that we stay with the ship until the end. But notice, there was much drama on the ship. Some of the sailors wanted to leave, the guards wanted to kill the prisoners, the ship went through a storm of many days and for a while, the conditions were so bad they were not even able to take food. We are not promised that the journey will be easy only that we will be saved and arrive safely.
Tomorrow: Acts 28