Dear Cobham Park Church Family,
As a boy, I remember carrying our sailboat’s anchor with its heavy chain draped over my shoulder. The rusty links rattle as my brother and I together heave the anchor into the choppy water. Clink-clink-clink…PLOSH! As the anchor quickly sinks out of view, we feed it armfuls of line. Far beneath us, the anchor takes hold. The line moans as it stretches tightly in the cleat, and the boat swings parallel with the current and halts. I try to imagine the dark depths where the anchor does its work. Is the anchor resting in river-mud, or has it struck some ancient rock? Has an oyster bed been disturbed? Have the anchor’s flukes dug into the timbers of a shipwreck? I suppose that only God and the fish know for sure! While I can’t see it anymore, the anchor keeps our sailboat from drifting unpredictably or running aground. My brother and I can finally go below deck for supper and a good night’s rest…
The cross, dove, lamb, and shepherd are all instantly recognizable Christian images. But if you’ve spent much time on the water, you’ll quickly grasp the meaning of a less common symbol of our faith: the anchor. You might be surprised to learn that in the first centuries of church history, the anchor was used to represent Christian faith more often than the cross. Early Christians were a persecuted minority, so they preferred symbols which would only be readily recognized by the faithful. The anchor was already an ancient symbol of security, and it resembled a cross—but not too obviously.
The Bible only mentions anchors twice. First, we read of anchors in the exciting events of Acts 27, where they are used to keep a ship from running aground in a storm. In a second passage, the anchor takes on far deeper spiritual significance to followers of Jesus:
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest…(from Hebrews 6:19-20; NLT)
Like the first Christians, we increasingly find ourselves adrift in the strong currents of a confused and hostile culture. Waves of worry, doubt, and anger toss today’s church or even drive it toward the rocks. Our own stormy selfishness, moral compromise, and failure threaten to sink us. Know this: there is only one anchor for our souls! His line will not snap, and He’ll never let go of God—or us. You may not be able to see what Jesus is doing under the raging sea, but He’ll hold you firmly in place. He sank so that you will not. He is faithful when I am not. Let’s stop obsessing about the storm, and trust our anchor!
In His Love,