S/V Talisman Sailing Charters in Door County

S/V Talisman Sailing Charters in Door County

Christening of the Talisman

July 23, 2004

Today we gather for a special occasion that few of us have ever experienced. The christening of a boat is a first for me and by the show of your hands, for many of you as well. We know little about the original christening ceremony for the Talisman but we have the privilege or rededicating this boat today. We come together to confirm the name and mission for the new life and restoration that the Yount family has given to this historical craft.

Beth YountProper christenings are conducted to assure a good future for a boat. From this very harbor many years ago a christening was conducted for the famous Great Lake's ore carrier, the Edmund Fitzgerald. One report can be quoted: "As the iron ore behemoth slid down the skids and into the water at a precarious angle, it threw a monstrous wave back on the launch area. The giant hull then crashed back against the pier with such violence that one onlooker actually suffered a heart attack and died. An observer commented, 'the Fitzgerald seemed as though it was trying to climb back out of the water!' Several years later, the Fitz broke in half and went to the bottom of the Lake Superior in one of the most frightening storms ever recorded on the Great Lakes." *

The above story seems to validate the maxim: "A bad beginning makes for a bad journey." That's why today portends a new beginning for a good, new journey for the Talisman. I emphasize this ceremony as a new birthing for this boat because the word, "christening," speaks to us of God's presence, Word, and blessing on this craft.

There's an amazing recorded history in the Bible of God's engagements with "boat people." Go back to the first record in Genesis and study the place of a water craft in events that changed the course of human history. The ark that Noah built was not similar in design to the sleek, elegant, polished ship that we admire today. It resembled a large ferry boat, 445 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. No fancy name. Just call me Noah's Ark..

Noah's story tells me much about God's promise. He used a boat to symbolize His plan to save us from our self dependency. The self destruct course that humanity chose could only be interdicted by God's plan to save us from our sinful selves. And He gave us a permanent sign in the sky, the rainbow, as His pledge to save and bless us for eternity.

Another boat person, Jonah, struggled with God's mission for his life. He would have paid any amount for the Coast Guard Rescue team to plant him on terra firma. It didn't take too long to learn that his former habitat on storm tossed seas was more inviting than the intestines, bladders, pumping stations and waste matter inside the belly of the whale. Again, a boat served to teach a life lesson that no other venue could accomplish.

Move on to the New Testament and you discover the most scholarly, brilliant, and articulate apologist in Scripture also being tossed about in a boat out of control in a violent storm. The crew soon learned that no human talent or force could manage when God decides its show time for nature's fireworks.. St. Paul's counsel and advice was rejected by the experienced sea farers. What did a Bible teacher know about sailing? His clear warning, "Men I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also." A two week battering storm left them shipwrecked and clinging to life on broken planks. The 276 member crew eventually learned that passenger Paul's 'God connection' in prayer saved their lives. No other sea passage to Rome would ever match the drama, trauma, sea soaking, hunger, and prayer meeting sessions that the crew experienced on that trip. Could it be that God places us in such storm tossed boating ventures as passengers to be God's messenger, comforter, and prayer partner for the lessons in peril he wants to teach us and others? Given a choice, I'd prefer a cruise to Hawaii rather than being assigned to a boating mission that God uses to speak profound truth through me in perilous times to distraught listeners.

Boating experiences in Scripture are marvelous metaphors to illustrate Biblical principles. The most profound spiritual truths relating to life on the sea came from Jesus. On numerous occasions his lessons from a boat, outside a boat, near the shore, or sleeping on a boat, spoke to His authority as God's messenger of hope and promise. To everyone that listened and responded, the power of God's Word released the potential to serve in His kingdom in ways that honor Him.

The most striking record in Scripture tells how Peter discovered the source of God's strength and power. After being invited to venture from his boat and join Jesus on the waves, a personal sinking and soaking followed quickly. All of these experiences seemed to be part of a steep learning curve for Peter. This brash, self assured, verbose follower of Christ employed all his natural gifts to serve his Lord. It took a near drowning, a rebuke from Jesus, and even cowardly denial of his Christian relationship before he discovered the real source of dynamic spiritual life. He rose from the ashes of failure and disgrace to realize one's spirituality is not based on self effort. The wimp who cowered before the inquiry of an unnamed girl was transformed to lead the first church in Jerusalem after the Holy Spirit empowered his life with the Biblical promise, "Nothing is impossible with God."

All of these thoughts bring us to the significance of this christening event. This boat, named Talisman, speaks to us of God's promise, the perils all of experience on the seas of our lives, and the potential we have as we allow God's Word to indwell and empower us for the individual missions He calls us to fulfill. Please join me in a prayer of christening.

Richard CobbFather God, today we come to rededicate this lady, Talisman, and send her to sea to be cared for and to care for the Yount family. We ask that the crew and passengers be protected and blessed by God to enjoy your gifts of sea, sky, sun, and sand.

May this vessel be used to bring honor and glory to our Father God, Jesus Christ our Savior, and the Holy Spirit our Comforter, in whose names we pray. Amen.

Prepared by Richard Cobb, July 23, 2004

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