Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Storm

A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him,
"Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"
He woke up,
rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!"
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?"
They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
"Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"  Mark 4

We imagine Jesus exhausted after a very busy day of preaching and healing those desperate for his touch. He steps into the boat and immediately heads for the stern where he curls up in his cloak and rests his weary head on an old cushion that Peter always keeps there. A violent storm comes up, but Jesus already sound asleep, doesn't even stir. The boat is filling with water as waves break overhead, Jesus is getting drenched; still he sleeps on. Amazing. The apostles panic and shake him awake. His hair dripping wet, his clothes soaked through, he opens his eyes. "I am with you. There is nothing to fear." Then with majestic calm and authority, he rebukes the storm. "Shhhh! Quiet! Be still!" The sea, the wind know the voice of their Creator, their Master, the Word who called them into being; and they obey.

What is terrifying us? What is our greatest fear? Jesus is in the same boat with us, drenched in our humanity, one with us; his quiet healing presence never, ever far away. We can call out to him in confidence.

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.
The Lord has robed himself with might;
he has girded himself with power.

The world you made firm, not to be moved;
your throne has stood firm from of old.
From all eternity, O Lord, you are.

The waters have lifted up, O Lord,
the waters have lifted up their voice;
the waters have lifted up their thunder.

Greater than the roar of mighty waters,
more glorious than the surgings of the sea,
the Lord is glorious on high.

Truly your decrees are to be trusted.
Holiness is fitting to your house,
O Lord, until the end of time.  Psalm 93

Picture by Brother Brian.