Enoch and Noah – Part 5

“Enoch … Enoch … come on son, it’s time to get up.”

“Okay Mom, just five more minutes …”

I had one more stone to roll before I would beat those town boys at their own game. I lined up my shot and just as I was about to make it …

“Enoch, you need to get up and do your chores. Come on, son.”

“Okay, okay …” Realizing the game was just a dream; I stretched my arms and legs, and then opened my eyes and tried to focus.

The room was pretty dark, “Where was my window, my furniture … my stuff?

Then suddenly I felt my bed lift up from behind me and tilt to my left. I quickly looked around, “What is going on? My whole room moved!

“Huh? Wha—where am I?” I said out loud.

“It’s alright, this is your first time waking up on the ark,” my Mom’s voice again filtered through the morning fog in my head.

Then things began to look familiar, “Oh, yeah, that’s right …”

Memories of the last days, weeks and months began to flood back into my mind, the work on the ark, the fire, the townspeople attacking Grampa, the animals arriving, the rains and flooding and finally the door of the ark closing on the outside world the Lord had decided to destroy.

“Ok Mom, I’m going.”

I got up, dressed, washed, grabbed a chunk of bread from the table and headed up toward the large pen with the netting containing all the birds that came with us on the ark. I have to feed them and clean out their pen.

There was singing and wild calls coming from the top of the ladder I had to climb to get to the upper level. I really like all the birds, feeding them isn’t too bad. It’s the cleaning up after them that’s yucky.

I grabbed a couple of buckets and filled them with the different kinds of food the birds liked and went into the pen. When they saw me with the food, the sound of all the birds got so loud I nearly had to cover my ears.

Looking up into the branches of the trees my Pop and uncles had brought in and mounted to the walls of the pen, I saw many of the birds moving to the lower branches. They seemed eager to eat.

It’s a good thing I looked up because one of the birds was dropping something yucky. I just barely got out of the way in time.

After cleaning out the pen and putting out the food, I sat on the bench inside the enclosure and thought for a while. “This is going to get boring real fast if this is all I have to do every day,” I said to myself.

I had asked Grampa how long we were going to be on this trip. But, the only answer I could get from him was “The Lord will let us know when He is done out there. Just be patient, Enoch.”

So, I decided to explore the Ark.

The first thing I did was to walk all the way from end to end on the deck my birds were on. I had already done that topside (that’s what we call the top deck of the Ark where you could go outside) but, I didn’t want to stay out there because it was still raining.

But, I wanted to see everything.

So I walked and walked and walked, each day I went to a new and lower level.

I looked and looked and looked. I had never seen so many different kinds of animals in all my life. A lot of the animals were new to all of us and we didn’t know what to call them. Many had come from very far away and many were very strange.

I wanted to see them all, even all the creepy, creeping things, no matter how long it took.

One night at supper, we talked about what I was doing.

“What did you see today, Enoch,” Mama asked.

“I saw the monkeys and the antelope and the . . . um . . .striped horses,” I said.

Papa laughed and said, “Those are called zebras son.”

Then he spoke up in his stern voice, “I don’t want you going down to the lowest levels son. The big cats and other very large, dangerous animals are down there. They may be safe enough but, I don’t want you to take any chances. Do you understand me?”

“Yes Papa,” I said.

There were still lots of other parts to explore that I hadn’t seen yet. And, there were lots of animals yet to see.

Every day for several weeks I went out and looked and explored. I was having a great time until one day when I was going down to one of the lower levels where we kept the larger animals.

Hmm, here’s another ladder going down, I don’t remember seeing this one before.” I thought to myself. Down at this level, the cages were much larger than the ones higher up.

Wow! I bet the really big animals are down here. One more level won’t hurt …

Enoch and Noah – Part 4

I ran to Grampa and asked what was happening. He told me the Lord had told him about the water from the sky. Grampa called it rain. He said it would continue for forty days and forty nights. All the water would destroy the whole world that we had known. He called it a flood.

Then something really weird happened. I looked out the door. I could see that the water was everywhere. It was beginning to cover our farm. People from the city and surrounding farms started arriving, and I could see that they wanted to come with us. Grampa, Pop, and my uncles came to the area near the door, and Grampa began to pray. He said, “Oh Lord of heaven and earth. You have blessed us all beyond measure, but we have rebelled against you. And because of this rebellion, you have chosen to destroy the earth by a flood. But you have also chosen your servant Noah and his family to care for the animals that you have sent to us. You have instructed me to build this ark. My family and I have done so. The animals that you have chosen have arrived. They are safe inside this ark, which we built according to your command. The rains have begun. The flooding has begun and we, your servant Noah and his family, are safe inside. The rest is up to you Lord. We place ourselves in your hands Almighty God. Do with us as you will.”

Just as Grampa finished that prayer, there was a loud creaking sound and movement by the door. It was the DOOR! It was closing all by itself! The people that had gathered on the outside began yelling and rushing toward the door, but…they were too late.

The door closed with a groan, a scraping, and finally a loud thud that echoed throughout the ark.

They were on the outside and we were on the inside and suddenly it got real quiet.

No one spoke.

The animals were silent.

Then the whole ark moved!

We suddenly pitched to the left. Things were sliding across the floor and falling. Then we pitched back the other way. Something hit me and knocked me down. Pop was right there with his strong arm and he picked me up. And then…the ark steadied upright again and we could tell that we were still moving. It was really weird!

After we put a few of the things that had slid around back where they belonged, we raced up the big stairway to the windows on the top deck of the ark. All we could see was water for miles and miles. There were just a few mountaintops off in the distance.

We were alone in the middle of all of this water that wasn’t even there just a few days ago. I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream. I didn’t even want to believe it. I thought that I would wake up in just a minute. But…. I didn’t.

The sky was blacker than anything I had ever seen; the wind was blowing so hard it was hard to stand still. It made me feel so cold with the rain coming down harder and harder. I kept thinking about all the people and things that were under that water. I just stood there hanging on the edge of the window looking out.

I couldn’t understand why they all had to…be destroyed. That made me angry, so I went to a small place on the ark that I had discovered to hide when I didn’t want to be found. I wanted to think about things for a while.

I thought about the people and the places that I knew. Grampa was right. There were people that did really mean things. I didn’t understand a lot of what went on, but I thought that those people wanted to live that way. Maybe it was ok if they weren’t hurting anyone but themselves.

But then I got to thinking about something Pop had told me. If I make something and it doesn’t turn out right or work the way I wanted it to, I could tear it apart and start over if I wanted. He told me that was what God was doing. He was going to start over. He was going to keep parts of what He made that He liked and was going to do the rest over again. It was His choice. I repeated that to myself, “It was His choice and He always chooses to do the right thing.”

I didn’t even hear Grampa come up behind me. The first thing I knew was that his hand was on my shoulder. I turned and looked up at him. He told me to follow him. He led me to where the birds were kept. The light was dim and it was pretty warm in there. They seemed to be comfortable with that. They were strangely peaceful and quiet. We found a little bench to sit on, and Grampa and I sat there watching the birds for quite a while. We used to do that sometimes at home on his favorite bench, under his favorite tree, watching the sun go down. It was almost like old times. I began to feel a lot better and was able to relax a little. Then he scooted away from me just a bit, bent down, and looked me in the eyes and said, “Enoch, I am sure that all of this is frightening. It would frighten me too, and it might even make me angry…if I did not know the Lord the way that I do. That helps me to trust Him. Enoch, I want you to know the Lord the same way that I do. I want you to trust Him the same way that I do.”

I looked into Grampa’s eyes. They were deep and soft and loving. I knew I could believe him and trust him. Trusting God was a little bit harder for me. Then I remembered what Pop had said. He told me to trust Grampa and to trust in the Lord.

“God is faithful,” he always said, “you just obey and wait and see.”

Grampa had said the same thing many times. Suddenly, I felt like I wanted to trust him, God I mean.

“Grampa,” I said.

“Don’t say anything now,” Grampa said. “Would you pray with me?”

I looked down for a moment, and then back into his big eyes.

“Yes”, I said, “I would like that.”

“Hold my hands,” he said. I put my hands into his. My hands were so small compared to his. They were big and worn from many years of hard work, but at the same time, they were soft and tender.

He began to speak quietly, with confidence and familiarity.

“Lord God, God of the heavens and the earth, God of our fathers Adam and Enoch, Lord God, hear us now as we speak. I am here with my grandson Enoch. He is having a hard time trusting you; he might even be a little bit angry with you. He doesn’t know it is ok to be honest about all of our feelings. Mostly because he does not know you as I do. I know you are faithful and true. I also know that you love us each more than we could ever realize. Please help my grandson Enoch to know you as I do. Help him seek you and to know you as his great, great, great….great grandfather Enoch knew you. Help him to trust you and to know you are faithful. Thank you Lord, for I know you will hear and answer this prayer.”

With that, he squeezed my hands, and I knew it was my turn to talk to the Lord.

I was scared.

It’s not every day you talk to the God that created the universe, but Grampa knew Him so well and trusted Him so much I wanted to try.

I started the same way Grampa did.

“Lord God, God of the heavens and the earth, this is Enoch, and I’ve never spoken to you before because I…I…well, I just didn’t know I could. Now I know I can. I have learned that from my Grampa and I just want you to know I want to trust you in the same way my Grampa does. Please help me because I’m pretty young…and, well, I’m really new at this. Please help me to trust that you’ll take care of all of us in this ark and one day soon we can live on land again.”

Grampa laughed a little, but I kept going.

“Thank you, Lord, for loving us. Thank you for loving me and my family. Help us to take good care of all the animals. Especially help me to take care of all of the birds. There are more birds here than I’ve ever seen in my whole life.”

“Anyway, thank you Lord. Please forgive me for being angry with you. Please help me to do my part of trusting you to take care of everything else on the outside of the ark. I know it’s my job to just trust and obey you.”

Then Grampa put his big arms around me and gave me a real good hug. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “God is faithful, just you wait and see.”

I gave him a big smile and said, “Ok, Grampa, I’ll do my best. The Lord has to help me, but I will try very hard and trust Him.”

“God is faithful,” he said, “just you wait and see.”

Then he walked away. I sat there with the birds for a long time thinking about all that had happened. I felt more peaceful than before. I, somehow, just knew that things would be all right. But, our voyage had just begun.

Enoch and Noah – Part 3

Then I got to thinking about all the extra birds and remembered the big area toward the top of the ark. It was like several really big rooms without walls. We had hauled in and mounted a bunch of different sized dead trees, so they would have someplace to roost if they wanted to. Then I remembered the stuff called fish net Pop had hauled up there. He said it would come in handy for keeping the birds where they belong. That was a little confusing to me because the net stretched from the floor to the ceiling and everyone knew chickens can’t fly. But, I had lots of other things to do, so I had no time to think about that.

The next day, right about the time the sun came up, Grampa came and woke me himself.

He said, “Today is the day, Enoch.”

“Today is the day for what?” I said.

“Today is the day the animals will begin to arrive. We need to be ready.”

“How do you know that, Grampa?”

“The Lord told me, and He is faithful, just you wait and see.”

Grampa was right. Even before breakfast, the animals began to arrive. They came in pairs. Grampa had me counting them to keep track. There were lions, pheasants, elephants, tigers, cows, horses, sheep, oxen, cats, dogs, monkeys, bears, and even snakes and all sorts of animals I had never seen before. They showed up…all by themselves. Pop and my uncles pointed them into one of the many, many pens or stalls that had been built. There was no fighting. It was amazing!

As for me, I couldn’t believe the numbers and types of birds that began to show up. Pop had gotten the netting up only a day or two before, and all of the birds either flew in or walked right into the big room we had prepared for them. I couldn’t believe it. This went on for seven days. Grampa was right. The Lord was being faithful. He was bringing all of the animals to us!

While all of that was going on, Grammie Naamah, my mom, my two aunts, and all of my sisters and cousins were helping get our stuff onto the ark. I had to tell them what I wanted to bring and what could be left behind. This was starting to get a little scary. It was really happening! For a while, it was sort of like…a dream! But, now…it was way too real. How was this ark going to float with all of these animals and us inside? How were we going to take care of all of these animals?

Grampa must have noticed the way I was feeling. He came over and pulled me aside. He squatted down next to me and looked me right in the eyes.

He told me there was nothing to be afraid of. The Lord had promised to take care of us, and He always kept His promises. “God is faithful,” he said, “just you wait and see.” And then, he gave me a real big hug. I felt better.

Then I saw Pop watching us. He smiled, came over, and hugged me too. He told me to trust Grampa and to trust in the Lord. “God is faithful,” he said, “just you wait and see.”

Pop then told me I had been doing a much better job of being dependable. He was going to count on me to take care of all the birds, not just the chickens. He was sure I could do it. He put his hand on my shoulder and smiled at me. I was so happy, I felt like my heart was going to bust out of my chest.

There were a lot of animals on board. So I got really busy taking care of all the birds. I needed to care for them the same way I took care of the chickens at home. It was the same job, only it was a lot bigger than before. I went up to where they were kept to sort of look around, and I couldn’t believe all the different types of birds. I still had no names for them, but boy, were some of them beautiful. They were different shades of every color in all sorts of combinations and, boy, were they noisy! Each one seemed to be talking or singing or chattering in some way. It was noisy, but beautiful.

We had covered the floor with sawdust and wood chips left over from the construction of the ark. That helped a lot with the mess the animals left on the floor. We also had a lot of hay to use both for food and to cover the floor. That way the animals could lie down and sleep at night.

Then, after the seventh day, the animals stopped coming. It was weird after they had been coming for so many days.

Then it got really cloudy outside. These clouds were darker than I had ever seen before, and soon it was almost like nighttime. The wind blew harder and harder, and then…water started falling from the sky. I’d never seen water fall from the sky before. Then it came down harder and harder. It came down so hard we could barely see a stone’s throw away.

The Story of When Jesus Calls Peter – Conclusion

Stanley:                      Wait a minute the boat is tipping over! I’m gonna drown. We’re all gonna die!

Mr. Mathisen:          Stanley, you are not going to drown, and we are not all gonna die. Pay attention to what’s going on. Peter is calling to those friends of his with that other boat. They are coming to help us with this huge catch of fish.

Peters net overflowing

Stanley:                      Maybe we can have fish and chips for lunch then.

Mr. Mathisen:          Stanley! Pay attention this is important stuff going on here. We’re with Jesus and Peter. Look the other boat is here, and the two boats are hauling the fish in.

Stanley:                      I’ve never seen so many fish in one place in my life. Uh oh! The boat is getting so full of fish that…that. We’re gonna sink! I’m gonna drown. We’re all gonna die!

Mr. Mathisen:          Stanley! Will you stop that? Listen Peter is talking to Jesus. Now he’s gotten down on his knees right here in the boat.

Peter:                         Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around You.

Mr. Mathisen:          Did you hear that Stanley? Listen! Jesus is answering him.

Jesus:                         Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!

Stanley:                      Look! We’re almost back to the shore. All those other fishermen are coming to help with all these fish!

Mr. Mathisen:          We better get out of the boat and keep out of the way Stanley. Here we are, it’s much better up here on the beach a little ways.

Stanley:                      Can I keep this fish that got into my pocket? I bet my mom can cook it up really good!

Mr. Mathisen:          No Stanley. It doesn’t belong to us. Let’s go back down to where they are spreading the fish out on the beach and put it in with the rest. Wait a minute, Peter and his friends are leaving all these fish and their boats and following Jesus.

Stanley:                      Wow! That’s right. Where are they going? Wait is that Jesus talking again?

Mr. Mathisen:          Yes. I can just make it out He is saying. “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” Wow! It looks like choosing to obey Jesus really changed Peter’s life.

Fisher of men

Stanley:                      It sure did. Look at all these fish! They are just walking away from them. I’ll bet they never did that before.

Mr. Mathisen:          Stanley, I think that Peter and his friends James and John are going to find themselves doing a lot of things that they never did before, just because they decided to obey Jesus. Sometimes Jesus asks us to do things that may not make much sense, at first. But we need to obey Him anyway because He is God, and He knows what is best for us. You boys and girls need to do the same thing. Obey Jesus and obey your parents and teachers.

The Story of When Jesus Calls Peter – Part 2

Stanley:                       Wait a minute that man is walking backwards!

Mr. Mathisen:             That’s right Stanley. Those people keep crowding in on him and he has to walk backwards to keep from getting trampled by them. Look! He’s turned around and is talking to Peter.

Stanley:                       What’s he saying; I can’t hear over the noise of the crowd?

Mr. Mathisen:             I’m not sure but now he’s getting into one of those boats and he’s talking to that big man. Wait! That must be Peter. Let’s run over and listen.

Stanley:                       Um, OK. You run. I left my legs at home.

Mr. Mathisen:             Oh, Stanley. (Make running sounds) Ok, here we are at the boat. You know I think that we can squeeze into the back of the boat and see and hear everything that goes on. In we go, let’s jump!

Stanley:                       Wait a minute! You landed on me!

Mr. Mathisen:             I did not. Wait a minute! That man is Jesus. This is Peter’s boat and Jesus is asking Peter to push the boat out into the water so that He can continue to preach but not get trampled.

Stanley:                       You know, Peter didn’t look to happy about this to begin with, but he just looked at Jesus for a minute and his whole face changed. Now he’s happy to help. Wow! Talking with Jesus changed his mind!

Mr. Mathisen:             You sure are right Stanley. Peter didn’t want to obey at first, but looking at Jesus and hearing Him ask changed the way that Peter was acting. Now he seems to be really happy to help! And now we can sit in the boat and listen to Jesus teach the people too. Right, Stanley?  Stanley? Stanley, what are you doing?

Jesus-Teaching-From-Simons-Boat

Stanley:                       Vroom! Vroom! Vrooooooom! Huh? Oh, I was playing motor boat with my hand in the water.

Mr. Mathisen:             Shhh! Jesus is done teaching the crowd now and He’s asking Peter to move the boat out into deeper waters. Listen to what he is saying.

Jesus:                          “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

Peter:                          “Master, we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if You say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”

Mr. Mathisen:          Look, Stanley. We’re going out farther into the lake. They’re putting their nets down. Whoa! They caught something already!

Stanley:                      Wait a minute the boat is tipping over! I’m gonna drown. We’re all gonna die!

The Story of When Jesus Calls Peter – Part 1

Mr. Mathisen:             Boys and girls, this morning we are going to tell the story of when Jesus calls the Apostle Peter. Who can tell me who Peter was?

Stanley:                       Ooh, Ooh, ooh…I know, I know!

Mr. Mathisen:             Stanley, do you really know who Peter was?

Stanley:                       Sure, sure, he was the cut off the guy’s ear in the garden when the soldiers were arresting Jesus.

Mr. Mathisen:             Well, that is true but we are going to talk about another time before Peter was a follower of Jesus. Do you know what Peter did before he was an apostle?

Stanley:                       Umm…..was he a carpenter?

Mr. Mathisen:             No…does anyone else know what Peter did before he was an apostle?

Stanley:                       Wait! Don’t I get another guess?

Mr. Mathisen:             Okay, go ahead and try again.

Stanley:                       Ummm…was he a mailman?

Mr. Mathisen:             No, Stanley he was not a mailman. Let me give you a hint.

Stanley:                       Ok, I like hints.

Mr. Mathisen:             When today’s story starts, he is on the beach cleaning some fish nets.

Stanley:                       Ooh, Ooh, ooh…I know, I know!

Mr. Mathisen:             Ok, what was he?

Stanley:                       He was a fisherman!

Mr. Mathisen:             Very good Stanley. For today’s story, let’s go for a walk on the beach, and then maybe we’ll go for ride in Peter’s boat.

Stanley:                       Are we going to have another storm? I don’t like storms when I’m on a boat. I get sort of sick to my stomach.

Mr. Mathisen:             Oh don’t worry about that today. There won’t be any storms in this story. So let’s pretend that we’re walking on the beach of the Sea of Galilee. It’s a bright, sunny day, and we can see Peter and his friends with all their nets laid out on the beach so that they can dry them, clean them and fix any tears in them.

come-follow-me

Stanley:                       Boy, I can sure smell that wonderful sea air. I can hear seagulls and look there’s a big crowd down there on the beach, and it’s headed this way.

Mr. Mathisen:             You’re right Stanley. All those people are listening to that man, and he is headed this way.

Stanley:                       Wait a minute that man is walking backwards!

The Story of When Jesus Calmed the Sea – Conclusion

Stanley:                       Aaaahhhhh!! I’m getting wet!!!

Mr. Mathisen:             Oh, come on now Stanley, a little water isn’t going to hurt you.

Stanley:                       A little water? I’ve got so much water on me I can’t feel my legs anymore!!

Mr. Mathisen:             Stanley…you don’t have any legs.

Stanley:                       (looking down) Oh, yeah…that’s right. (sheepishly) Ha, ha, ha…I guess I got a little excited again, huh?

Mr. Mathisen:             Oh look, James is taking the sail down, and they are getting out the oars. Look, they are rowing really, really hard, but…it’s not helping much. We are still getting a lot of water in the boat. Where are the buckets? Maybe we should start bailing.

Stanley:                       Ooh, ooh, I heard Bartholomew talking about Jesus; he said that He has fallen asleep! What are we going to do? We’re going to sink! We’ll drown! I don’t want to die, I’m too young!!!!!

Mr. Mathisen:             Now, now take it easy Stanley. Jesus is still here with us. He cares about us, and He won’t let anything happen to us…remember, Jesus is God, and He can do anything. See! Nathaniel is waking Him up. Let’s listen in…

Nathaniel:                   “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re about to drown?”

Jesus:                          (And he came out of his sleep, He looked around, stood up in the boat and gave strong orders to the wind, and said to the sea,) “Peace, be at rest.” (And the wind went down, and there was a great calm. Then Jesus asked his disciples,) “Why were you afraid? Don’t you have any faith?”

from-fear-to-faith

Mr. Mathisen:             Stanley, did you see that??? It’s amazing! The wind stopped howling, the rain stopped, the waves calmed INSTANTLY!!! All because Jesus told them to.

Stanley:                       Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!

Mr. Mathisen:             That’s enough Stanley. Look all of the disciples are acting frightened and talking to each other. I heard Thomas say, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him.” Stanley, they don’t understand who He is!

Stanley:                       You mean they really don’t understand?

Mr. Mathisen:             No, they don’t understand how powerful He really is . . . remember, Jesus is God, and He can do anything. God created the whole world. That means absolutely, completely, positively, everything in the universe! Everything! And, He is in charge of everything He created, everything. Well, here we are at the shore. Everyone is getting out, let’s go…

Stanley:                       That’s a good idea. I need to get back on dry land so that my stomach can settle down like the wind and the waves just did when Jesus spoke to them. Wow! He really can do anything.

Mr. Mathisen:             That’s right Stanley…remember, Jesus is God, and He can do anything. Now, why don’t you go and rest in your box?

Stanley:                       Ok, goodbye boys and girls. See you next time!

The Story of When Jesus Calmed the Sea – Part 2

Stanley:                       Oh boy, a boat ride!!! I can’t wait!! Can we water ski too???

Mr. Mathisen:             (Laughing) No, Stanley, it’s not that kind of boat. It was a probably the kind of boat that Peter and John fished from. It had no motor. It had a sail, and they could use oars to get it moving. It was also big enough to hold them all because it was built to hold a lot of fish. Let’s return now to those thrilling days of yesteryear and…well…let’s go with them now. Come on…Jesus is very tired from being with the people all day and is eager to get away, I heard Peter say that we were going to take a little ride across the lake and spend the night at the home of some friends on the other side.

As we get into the boat, there is just enough room in the bow (front) for us to sit down at this end away from the others and be out of the way. Jesus is sitting in the stern (back) on a cushion where there is a little room looking out across the lake. He seems to be praying. It’s wonderful to be with Him. Can you smell the water, Stanley? Isn’t it great!

(Begin swaying like on a boat.)

Stanley:                       Yeah, but, the boat is moving a lot, and I don’t think I feel so good.

Mr. Mathisen:             Would like to go back to your box & rest?

Stanley:                       What? Huh? Do I want to go back in the box? No way!! I’ll…be…alright. Do you see those dark clouds over there? It’s getting cold too. I hope we don’t have a storm? Uh…did you bring my raincoat?

Mr. Mathisen:             No Stanley, I didn’t. Hey, I just noticed that Jesus is taking a little nap and Peter is passing around some dried, smoked fish to eat. Mmmm, Stanley, you have got to try this fish! It is so GOOD! It’s better than the smoked salmon that we get at the Pike Place Market. (Stanley mumbles something) Hmm? What did you say?

Stanley:                       Oh, I’m sorry. I said I didn’t want anything to eat, my stomach is still not so good,

(large lurch, then back to hard swaying)

Whoa! Did you feel that? Something is definitely wrong with this boat and WOAH! Look at that sky, it is almost dark as nighttime, and that wind is getting colder and stronger all the time.

Mr. Mathisen:             I think that you are right Stanley. This boat is pitching around really badly. The waves are getting so high that we are getting water in the boat.

Stanley:                       Aaaahhhhh!! I’m getting wet!!!

The Story of When Jesus Calmed the Sea – Part 1

The Story of When Jesus Calmed the Sea

By: God

Adapted by: S.C. Mathisen

Mr. Mathisen:             A long time ago, far, far away, back during the time when Jesus was walking the earth and teaching his disciples. There was a time when he went for a ride on a boat.

Stanley:                       Boy, I’ll betcha that‘s going to be fun! Can we go with Him, Mr. Mathisen? Huh, can we go? Pleeeeeeze!!

Mr. Mathisen:             Whoa, hang on Stanley. We can’t just invite ourselves along. Someone has to ask us. Let’s just talk about the story some more first. Ok?

Stanley:                       Well…alright. But, if we could pretend that we were a couple of Jesus disciples then we COULD go huh?

Mr. Mathisen:             That’s a great idea, Stanley. Now this story was about the time when Jesus was spending time with the regular people. He was telling them stories to teach them about His Father. He touched them and prayed for them. He loved them and healed them. He did miracles for them…remember, Jesus is God, and He can do anything.

Stanley:                       Ooh, ooh, could Jesus make me into a real boy and give me legs and, and…when you look like that I know that the answer is no. Right?

Mr. Mathisen:             Stanley that was a completely different kind of story. That story was about Pinocchio the wooden puppet. You are not made out of wood. That one was made up, and this one is real. It comes right out of the Bible.

Stanley:                       I’m sorry, Mr. Mathisen. I guess that I got kind of carried away.

Mr. Mathisen:             That’s ok Stanley because, most of the time, that’s the only way you get anywhere. Being carried that is…well, anyway. This story is from the Bible. It comes from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Stanley:                       Can we get to the story about the boat ride now??? I’m really excited about that!!

Mr. Mathisen:             Yes we can. The story starts in Matthew chapter 8 verse 21, can you boys and girls find that in your Bibles? Matthew is the first book in the New Testament. As soon as you find that we will start….

Beginning of Story…

Mr. Mathisen:             Now, Stanley, you wanted to go for a boat ride, right? Well, let’s go back in time in our minds to a warm summer day when Jesus had been healing a lot of people. Why, that day already He had healed the little girl of a Roman soldier and the Apostle Peter‘s mother-in-law and all sorts of other people from all sorts of horrible things. …remember, Jesus is God, and He can do anything. But, it was getting late in the day and the people were crowding in on Him, so He and his disciples were going to get on a boat and go to the other side of the lake for the night. Let’s pretend that we are a couple of His disciples and we are going to go with Him.

Stanley:                       Oh boy, a boat ride!!! I can’t wait!! Can we water ski too???

The Story of When Jesus Calls Peter with Stanley

Mr. Mathisen:             Boys and girls, this morning we are going to tell the story of when Jesus calls the the Apostle Peter. Who can tell me who Peter was?

Stanley:                       Ooh, Ooh, ooh…I know, I know!

Mr. Mathisen:             Stanley, do you really know who Peter was?

Stanley:                       Sure, sure, he was the cut off the guy’s ear in the garden when the soldiers were arresting Jesus.

Mr. Mathisen:             Well, that is true but we are going to talk about another time before Peter was a follower of Jesus. Do you know what Peter did before he was an apostle?

Stanley:                       Umm…..was he a carpenter?

Mr. Mathisen:             No…does anyone else know what Peter did before he was an apostle?

Stanley:                       Wait! Don’t I get another guess?

Mr. Mathisen:             Okay, go ahead and try again.

Stanley:                       Ummm…was he a mailman?

Mr. Mathisen:             No, Stanley he was not a mailman. Let me give you a hint.

Stanley:                       Ok, I like hints.

Mr. Mathisen:             When today’s story starts, he is on the beach cleaning some fish nets.

Stanley:                       Ooh, Ooh, ooh…I know, I know!

Mr. Mathisen:             Ok, what was he?

Stanley:                       He was a fisherman!

Mr. Mathisen:             Very good Stanley. For today’s story let’s go for a walk on the beach and then maybe we’ll go for ride in Peter’s boat.

Stanley:                       Are we going to have another storm? I don’t like storms when I’m on a boat. I get sort of sick to my stomach.

Mr. Mathisen:             Oh don’t worry about that today. There won’t be any storms in this story. So let’s pretend that we’re walking on the beach of the Sea of Galilee. It’s a bright, sunny day and we can see Peter and his friends with all their nets laid out on the beach so that they can dry them, clean them and fix any tears in them.

Stanley:                       Boy, I can sure smell that wonderful sea air. I can hear seagulls and look there’s a big crowd down there on the beach and it’s headed this way.

Mr. Mathisen:             You’re right Stanley. All those people are listening to that man and he is headed this way.

Stanley:                       Wait a minute that man is walking backwards!

Mr. Mathisen:             That’s right Stanley. Those people keep crowding in on him and he has to walk backwards to keep from getting trampled by them. Look! He’s turned around and is talking to Peter.

Stanley:                       What’s he saying; I can’t hear over the noise of the crowd?

Mr. Mathisen:             I’m not sure but now he’s getting into one of those boats and he’s talking to that big man. Wait! That must be Peter. Let’s run over and listen.

Stanley:                       Um, OK. You run. I left my legs at home.

Mr. Mathisen:             Oh, Stanley. (Make running sounds) Ok, here we are at the boat. You know I think that we can squeeze into the back of the boat and see and hear everything that goes on. In we go, let’s jump!

Stanley:                       Wait a minute! You landed on me!

Mr. Mathisen:             I did not. Wait a minute! That man is Jesus. This is Peter’s boat and Jesus is asking Peter to push the boat out into the water so that He can continue to preach but not get trampled.

Stanley:                       You know, Peter didn’t look to happy about this to begin with, but he just looked at Jesus for a minute and his whole face changed. Now he’s happy to help. Wow! Talking with Jesus changed his mind!

Mr. Mathisen:             You sure are right Stanley. Peter didn’t want to obey at first, but looking at Jesus and hearing Him ask changed the way that Peter was acting. Now he seems to be really happy to help! And now we can sit in the boat and listen to Jesus teach the people too. Right Stanley?  Stanley? Stanley, what are you doing?

Stanley:                       Vroom! Vroom! Vrooooooom! Huh? Oh I was playing motor boat with my hand in the water.

Mr. Mathisen:             Shhh! Jesus is done teaching the crowd now and He’s asking Peter to move the boat out into deeper waters. Listen to what he is saying.

Jesus:                          “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

Peter:                          “Master, we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if You say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”

Mr. Mathisen:          Look, Stanley. We’re going out farther into the lake. They’re putting their nets down. Whoa! They caught something already!

Stanley:                      Wait a minute the boat is tipping over! I’m gonna drown. We’re all gonna die!

Mr. Mathisen:          Stanley, you are not going to drown and we are not all gonna die. Pay attention to what’s going on. Peter is calling to those friends of his with that other boat. They are coming to help us with this huge catch of fish.

Stanley:                      Maybe we can have fish and chips for lunch then.

Mr. Mathisen:          Stanley! Pay attention this is important stuff going on here. We’re with Jesus and Peter. Look the other boat is here and the two boats are hauling the fish in.

Stanley:                      I’ve never seen so many fish in one place in my life. Uh oh! The boat is getting so full of fish that…that. We’re gonna sink! I’m gonna drown. We’re all gonna die!

Mr. Mathisen:          Stanley! Will you stop that? Listen Peter is talking to Jesus. Now he’s gotten down on his knees right here in the boat.

Peter:                         Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around You.

Mr. Mathisen:          Did you hear that Stanley? Listen! Jesus is answering him.

Jesus:                         Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!

Stanley:                      Look! We’re almost back to the shore. All those other fishermen are coming to help with all these fish!

Mr. Mathisen:          We better get out of the boat and keep out of the way Stanley. Here we are, it’s much better up here on the beach a little ways.

Stanley:                      Can I keep this fish that got into my pocket? I bet my mom can cook it up really good!

Mr. Mathisen:          No Stanley. It doesn’t belong to us. Let’s go back down to where they are spreading the fish out on the beach and put it in with the rest. Wait a minute, Peter and his friends are leaving all these fish and their boats and following Jesus.

Stanley:                      Wow! That’s right. Where are they going? Wait is that Jesus talking again?

Mr. Mathisen:          Yes. I can just make it out He is saying. “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” Wow! It looks like choosing to obey Jesus really changed Peter’s life.

Stanley:                      It sure did. Look at all these fish! They are just walking away from them. I’ll bet they never did that before.

Mr. Mathisen:          Stanley, I think that Peter and his friends, James and John are going to find themselves doing a lot of things that they never did before, just because they decided to obey Jesus. Sometimes Jesus asks us to do things that may not make much sense, at first. But we need to obey Him anyway, because He is God and He knows what is best for us. You boys and girls need to do the same thing. Obey Jesus and obey your parents and teachers.