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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Christ’s Church – Like a Ship"

April 20, 2005

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God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. 1 Peter 3:20

Before the Pilgrims, aboard the Mayflower, landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, permanent settlers had come to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. Their little known ship was the Godspeed. The name implied the much-needed prayer: “God speed you!” that is, “God give you a prosperous journey!”

Such a prayer was certainly in order when Noah and his family entered the ark to escape destruction in the great flood. In the New Testament mention is made of this unique vessel, the ark, and of the faith involved in building and entering it. We are told: “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family” (Hebrews 11:7). Further, Saint Peter in his first epistle draws a parallel between Noah’s salvation then and our salvation now in the church through the water of Holy Baptism (1 Peter 3:18-22).

From ancient times the church of Christ has been compared to a ship whose passengers are safe from the perils of life’s journey. Jesus Christ is the captain of this spiritual vessel. He built and founded it when, in His great love, He gave His life for the church. After rising from the dead, He commanded His apostles to launch this ship by preaching the Gospel everywhere in the world.

The apostles then – and those following in their footsteps to this day – were to extend this invitation to all who were floundering in the sea of sin and death: “Come aboard! In the ship of Christ’s church you are safe.”

The church would well be named Godspeed, as was the ship of the first Virginia settlers, for in and through it God saves and blesses all who enter it and sail under the captaincy of Jesus Christ. Our individual response is: “Jesus, Savior, pilot me over life’s tempestuous sea. Unknown waves before me roll, hiding rock and treacherous shoal. Chart and compass come from Thee. Jesus, Savior, pilot me.”

PRAYER: O Lord God, guide me in the way You want me to go and help me to live a life in service to You. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: Judges 16-18    Luke 15:11-32

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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