Trinity 4

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Readings: 

Sermon:

I’m going to focus today on the gospel reading from Mark, the familiar story of Jesus calming the storm.  Let’s put the reading into context.  Before Jesus decided to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, he had been teaching a vast crowd, using parables to illustrate his teaching.  He was in the boat and the crowd was on the shore and probably some of them were in boats surrounding Jesus’ boat. As evening came a storm brewed – the Sea of Galilee is 200m below sea level and surrounded by hills. Storms were frequent, sudden and could be violent.

This passage speaks to me of power and of faith.  Earlier in Mark’s gospel Jesus’ healing miracles are described and Jesus cast out evil spirits showing his superior power to Satan, the devil.  This story shows Jesus’ power over nature.  The storm was fierce, waves lashing against the boat – Jesus spoke – all became immediately calm. The storm didn’t die down – it stopped straight away.  What power, what authority.

Let’s look at the disciples.  They had been with Jesus for some time now, seeing his miracles and listening to his teaching but they still didn’t quite grasp his identity. They called him “teacher” but not Lord or Master or Messiah.  The storm came without notice – they were terrified– they thought they were going to die – they woke Jesus: “Don’t you care if we drown?” How may times have we been like the disciples – in the storms of life – the ups and downs – how many times have we felt that God didn’t care or wasn’t there? How many times have we wondered, “where is God in this situation?”  The psalms mean so much to many of us because they are “real” – they express our doubts and our fears, asking the question, “has God abandoned his chosen people?” 

This last 16 months has tested all of us. It has been a real storm for many, for individuals and for churches.  No one has been immune. But look at Jesus’ response when woken by his disciples.  Firstly, he answered their prayer and he answered it immediately.  He removed the danger and only then did he go on to chide them about their lack of faith.

Jesus is with us in the storms of our lives. Our faith doesn’t stop the wind howling and the gales blowing.  It doesn’t stop the challenges of life.  But what our faith does give us is the knowledge that Jesus will see us through those storms and give us that inner strength we need.  We pray that we may feel his presence with us.

Amen

Questions:

  • What storms are you experiencing at present? Pray for God’s guidance.  Pray for strength.
  • Has your faith changed during the period of the pandemic? Have the storms of life brought you closer to God or pushed you further away?


Page last updated: 15th June 2021 4:12 PM
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