Saturday 30 January 2021

The storms of life


“With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’”

mark 4:35-41


When someone hits upon hard times, it’s worth remembering that it may not be their fault. Yes, there are occasions when we contribute to our own future through decisions and actions but very often external forces may be to blame. In the gospel reading, the disciples are experiencing something quite like this. The storm brews up and beats against the boats, and the disciples fear for their lives. Meanwhile, the anger of the storm is reflected in the anger of the disciples. They wake up Jesus and suggest he doesn’t care. Doesn’t care about what? That he will die, that they will die? They are astonished that the storm and the impending danger haven’t woken him. He wakes and rebukes the storm and them too. Rebukes them for their lack of faith. The storm subsides and they are left to worship and wonder. They are filled with awe. What are the storms of our day? What batters us and bruises us and causes us to be afraid. What swirling darkness endangers the lives of the poor and the vulnerable? What powerful forces in the world imprison and restricts people to live good and healthy lives. Injustice, inequality, racism, ageism, the abuse of power, pollution, global warming, greed, unfair financial systems, the list goes on and on. How can we play our part in rebuking the storms? How can we speak peace to anger, hope to fear, justice to greed?


God our Father, there are many storms of life which affect so many lives. Help us to bring your peace to those who are bruised and battered by life, and to stand up for justice. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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