On Sundays, the Glacier Wildlife Cruise ship Lu-lu Belle becomes a chapel. Captain Fred and the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Valdez use their time and resources to provide a unique but meaningful worship service aboard the Lu-lu Belle on Prince William Sound. The service is non-denominational in presentation, and all are invited to attend.
When we arrived at 7:45, the harbor was socked in with fog. Nothing could be seen out the windows. I like to think that God sent the fog so that worshipers would not be distracted by what was outside, but could focus on the message and on what was inside our hearts.
These pictures from my Friday cruise will help illustrate the service.
The worship began with a series of choruses from some of my favorite hymns:
"Some glad morning when this life is o'er, I'll fly away...
to a home on God's celestial shore, I'll fly away."
O victory in Jesus, My Savior forever...He plunged me to victory, Beneath the cleansing flood."
Amazing Grace: "When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise, Than when we first begun."
The Pastor's message came from the first chapter of Hosea. God told (actually permitted) Hosea to take a wife of harlotry, warning him that he would suffer because his wife would be unfaithful.
She was, and Hosea was angry. He could not condone her sin, even though he still loved her. So he set about to win her back into a right relationship with him.God used this unfortunate experience to portray His relationship with us. He loves us even though we don't deserve it. We stink.
We do crude things that separate us from God. You probably know someone like that who nobody wants to be around.
We fight and argue and say unkind things. We just are not very pretty sometimes.
But John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world (that's everyone), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." Even though we have sinned he will never cease to love us, and will seek to win back those who have forsaken Him. When we repent, He is quick to forgive.And so should we be like that to one another.
Hope I haven't butchered the Pastor's sermon too badly. There is a great ministry taking place aboard the Lu-lu Belle.