Date: August 13, 2017
SINKING, SWIMMING, FLOATING
SCRIPTURE: PSALM 85, MATTHEW
GRACE COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ASHEVILLE, NC
August 13, 2017
The Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop, Pastor
he RMS Titanic sank just after 2am on April 15 1912
after striking an
1500 people perished.
Shipbuilders magazine boasted
before Titanic sailed
that she was
“practically unsinkable” because
believed she was a sure thing
the “practically” faded and the
They were traveling too fast
some say to make a splash in the press,
others say to the feed the egos of a few powerful men.
They ignored warnings about icebergs
some say the calm seas lulled
them into thinking all would be well, others
say some of the crew may
have neglected their duties.
There were 2240 souls on board and
only 16 lifeboats. The number
provided actually exceeded the requirements of the British Board of
Trade at that time
even if filled to capacity, there was never goi
be enough room to save everyone
if the ship went down
Those in first class were 44% more likely to get a spot on a lifeboat
and many lifeboats were only partly filled in the chaos and cowardice of
Human pride can take even the mo
st amazing possibility and turn it
toward a tragic end.
What sank the Titanic may well have been greed. What made it such a
catastrophic loss of life was what greed can do to the human family
greed can justify valuing some lives over others, greed gives
not the least of which is cowardice. People who think
have the most to lose can sometimes be the first to abandon ship.
And greed is just a derivative of pride.
Pride is an idolatry factory
churning out false gods and distorted ways
of seeing our place in the world.
The disciples had a long night at sea
everything seemed against
the winds, the tumultuous ocean that battered and pounded
appears, walking on the water, and they can’t see him clearly. They
think he is a ghost. They are afraid. Even when Peter sees who Jesus is,
even when Peter does what Jesus tells him to do
steps into the
water, when the wind kicks up and the water get
s rough, fear takes
over, and he begins to sink. Sinking isn’t just about pride
; it is about a
profound sense of insecurity.
Pride, in the end, is a fearful disposition. It
th it an
unwillingness to trust.
At its core, pride is a rejection of t
a refusal to believe in
something bigger, something mysterious, something trustworthy.