At the end of the book of Acts, Paul is being sent to Rome while under arrest because he appealed his case to Caesar. In Acts 27:14, a storm hits while he and others are in the Mediterranean Sea on a ship. The sailors can’t control it, and it’s being driven on by the wind. After 14 days, everyone is scared and full of despair, except for Paul.
Acts 27:33-37 says
33 Until the day was about to dawn, Paul was encouraging them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have been constantly watching and going without eating, having taken nothing. 34 “Therefore I encourage you to take some food, for this is for your preservation, for not a hair from the head of any of you will perish.” 35 Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat. 36 All of them were encouraged and they themselves also took food. 37 All of us in the ship were two hundred and seventy-six persons.
Most people wouldn’t call that much of a sermon. It certainly doesn’t look like one. He told everyone to eat and that they wouldn’t die. It certainly doesn’t sound like much of a sermon either.
But Paul was preaching, and everyone on the ship heard his sermon loud and clear. Paul demonstrated his faith in the face of that despair and fear. They’d given up hope of survival, but Paul knew that God would save them, and his faith shown like a lighthouse in the dark.
Everyone has a pulpit. It may not be in a church building. It might be a classroom, or an office, or a boardroom full of executives, or a living room before children in a home. Your pulpit is wherever your faith can influence those around you. That might just be a few close friends and family members, or it could be to 276 co-workers.
Paul’s pulpit was created by the dire circumstances in which he found himself on that ship. It’s in the middle of trying times like this – these storms of life – that our influence and faith can be amplified to shine brightest. Trials open up opportunities to preach the gospel, even when we don’t mention it like Paul on that boat, because we let our faith do the talking.
Step up to your pulpit and preach!