The RMS Queen Mary’s maiden voyage across the Atlantic was in 1936. Decommissioned in 1967, during World War II, she was refitted as a troop transport, her portholes covered, and painted with a dull Atlantic Ocean grey. Thus the elegant Art Deco-fitted vessel became a warship. She exchanged her nickname QM for GG (Grey Ghost). During WWII, she went through rough waters and great dangers but she made it through.
After the war she became again that elegant liner that many from that generation still remember. She is now harbored permanently in Long Beach CA. Beautiful and elegant as ever.
Contrast the RMS Titanic, also from Southampton, who, on her maiden Atlantic voyage went down in circumstance so well documented that “to be on the Titanic” is now a metaphor for epic and catastrophic failure. NOTHING went right not only on that fateful night in April 1912 but even during the designing and construction phase (google Titanic “rivets”). Even the 2003 documentary on the Titanic (named Ghosts of the Abyss) contains a huge touch of irony. The day the team led by James Cameron deposed a commemorative plaque on the Titanic was September 11, 2001. The inscription read: THE 1500 SOULS LOST HERE STILL SPEAK, REMINDING US THAT THE UNTHINKABLE CAN HAPPEN, BUT FOR OUR VIGILANCE, HUMILITY AND COMPASSION.
Nothing can stop the Word of God!
The image of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) is so evocative, meaningful and powerful on so many levels. But one image that keeps coming back in the Book of Acts is that the spread of the Gospel is irresistible and unstoppable. The Word who is Spirit (John 6:63) cannot be thwarted (e.g., Acts 12:24).
You are not on the Titanic!
As we return to embodied worship, we too remember we are not on the Titanic. We are on that lovely ship turned war ship, in rough waters yes, but we are going to make it through. Isaiah the Prophet affirms this confidence with his characteristic poignant poetry. For the Word of God, aka, the Gospel (Isaiah 40:6-8; 1 Peter 1:15), aka the Spirit (John 6:63) to be rendered ineffective is as likely as water and snow returning to their place of origins in the cloud: unthinkable! The Word-Spirit-Gospel will succeed! (Isaiah 55:10-12).
Now is the time to seek Him!
So we persevere. Isaiah puts some urgency to it: “now is the time!” “He will abundantly pardon” as we abandon our own ways. We return to Jesus in repentance (Isaiah 55:6-9). We remind ourselves that His ways of doing things and His way of thinking stand in contrast to our own devices, thinking and worldview. As our worldview is transformed by the Lord Jesus, His Word and His Spirit, this is also the Promise of Pentecost: A successful passage is in store for us as individuals, the Body of Christ in our area and the Church worldwide. You and I are not on the Titanic!