A Season of Transition, a Season of Prayer — Please join us each day at 11:30 a.m. in offering a personal but collective prayer for our congregation. Today’s focus for prayer is: For Derek Macleod, our newly installed Director of Outreach, as he attends the Synod Meeting in Cuba on behalf of our Cuban Mission Team.
Scripture: Mark 6:47–56
Key verse: (50b) But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Reflection: Sometimes the only thing we can see is the chaos around us. So much so, that even when Jesus does show up we don’t see him. Even if we do, our response is not relief, but fear.
This passage from the Gospel of Mark is another story of Jesus, the disciples in a boat, and the threatening chaos of a storm.
Jesus sees the disciples struggling against the wind and goes to meet them — by walking on the water! When they finally take notice of this figure walking across the waves they are terrified.
They don’t see Jesus, they see something that strikes fear into their hearts. Jesus appears to them so outside the box (boat) that whatever help Jesus might be for them is drowned out by fear, not of the chaos around them, but of the unexpected way Jesus comes to them.
The disciples, especially in the Gospel of Mark, come across as clueless. Their difficulty in recognizing Jesus was repeated in the Church in the decades following Jesus’ resurrection. But, to be fair, how can anyone expect the unexpected?
The disciples—and the Church—found themselves in chaotic and threatening times. Yet Jesus showed up for them all.
What winds of storm threaten you? What chaos pushes against your efforts to move forward? Do you see that movement in the corner of your eye? Does it look like something impossible? Does it go against every expectation you have for how the world works? Does it frighten you and fill you with fear?
Take heart. Do not be afraid. The God who created the wind and water and waves sends his Son to calm our fears and set us back on course. “It is I” shows up in unexpected ways, but, thanks be to God, always shows up.
Prayer: You know the things that threaten us, O God. In those times when chaos surrounds our lives open our eyes and hearts to see you, even where we least expect you. Calm our fears and give us courage for the rest of our journey. In the name of the one who walks on water we pray. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].