Saturday, February 1, 2020

In the Storm on the Sea

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...  Mark 4

As this morning's Gospel opens, the evangelist is careful to note that the disciples took Jesus into their boat "just as he was" - fully human, his divinity hidden from their eyes. And the incident recounted here strikes us as one of the funniest in the Scriptures. If waves were crashing over the boat and it was filling up with water, wasn't Jesus getting soaking wet? Still he sleeps soundly, the sleep of deep, heavenly peace and trust in his Father. Awoken by his frantic disciples, we imagine him, droplets beading on his eyelashes, his hair dripping with sea water. He wipes his face and says simply, "Shh" to the elements. And they obey their Lord and quiet down. Even when he appears to be asleep, the Lord of Hosts is with us. Always.

Rembrandt van rijn (Leyden, 1606 - 1669, Amsterdam) Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1633, Oil on canvas, 63 x 50 3/8 in.