Paul, the brave apostle to the Gentiles, while a prisoner for the sake of the Lord, is taken on board a ship so that he may sail to Rome and proclaim his defense of the Way before the emperor. The seas turn angry, the sun cannot pierce the pall of rain, and the ship is rocked and buffeted by the rain and reef. The sailors, fearing for their lives, have forsaken food for fourteen days as they struggle to keep their ship upright in the midst of such a tempest.
Aware of their physical and emotional state, Paul urges the sailors to take and eat so that they may be strengthened. To set an example, Paul takes bread, give thanks to God, breaks the loaf, and begins to eat. These were the same divine actions that Jesus initiated at the Last Supper and at the feeding of the multitudes. And now, here on board a battered ship upon a tempestuous sea, Paul imitates his Lord and Sovereign by offering holy food for sustenance and strength in the storm.
When the ship of our lives are in danger of being capsized, when the storm of life is too much to bear, when exhaustion from our futile attempts to hold things together threaten to topple our sails, we need not go hungry. There is a meal, a gift from Christ, that is strength and sustenance throughout the storm of our lives. A thankful sliver of bread, a humble taste of wine, and we find that we are not alone on this rocking ship of life. Ah yes, that ship of our lives has a Captain, one who will steer us through to fairer seas.