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SUNDAY 20th JUNE: THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

 

READINGS

Job 38: 1-11

Mark 4: 35-41

 

REFLECTION

 

In our Gospel story today we read that Jesus and his disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee. They are moving from the Jewish side to the Gentile side, the side where they are at home to the side where they are strangers, the side where life is familiar to the side where it is new, different, and unfamiliar. This is not just a story about the weather and a boat trip. It is a story about life, faith and fear.

Sometimes the sea of life is rough, the wind is strong, the waves are high, the boat is taking on water and sinking. All of us know what that is like. Each one of us could tell a “storm story.” Some of our stories will begin with a phone call, a doctor's visit, or news we didn't want to hear. Some of them will start with the choices we have made, our failings and our mistakes. Others will tell about the difficulty of relationships, hopes and plans that fell apart, or the struggle to find our way. Some storms seem to arise out of nowhere and take us by surprise. Other storms build and develop as we watch. Storms happen. Storms of loss and sorrow. Storms of suffering, confusion, storms of loneliness, disappointment and regret. Regardless of when and how they arise storms are about changing conditions.

 

In the story from St. Mark today, the disciples are quick to make the storm about Jesus. “Do you not care that we are perishing?” We have probably all echoed their words in the storms of our lives. “Do something. Fix it. Make it better.” In the midst of the storm on the Sea of Galilee Jesus seems absent and uncaring. How can he possibly sleep at a time like this? Sleeping Jesus is not what the disciples want. However, he is in the same boat and the same storm as the disciples. He is surrounded by the same water as the disciples, blown by the same wind and beaten by the same waves. But his response is different. While the disciples fret and worry, he sleeps. The disciples want some action whilst Jesus sleeps in peace. Eventually Jesus speaks to the wind and the waves. “Peace! Be still!”

Jesus isn't changing the weather as much as inviting the disciples to change. He is speaking to the wind and waves within them. The disciples have been pointing to what is going on outside them. Jesus now points to what is going on inside them. He says to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

 

The words of Jesus are more about us than the circumstances of our lives and the storms we meet. Storms happen. Faith, more faith, the right kind of faith do not eliminate the storms of our lives. Faith does not change the storm. It changes us. Faith does not take us around the storm but through the storm. Faith allows us to see and know that Jesus is there with us. Faith is what allows us to be still, to be peaceful, in the midst of the storm. Let us remember that the power of God is stronger than any wave that beats against us. The love of God is deeper than any water that threatens to drown us.

In every storm Jesus is present and his response is always the same, “Peace! Be still!”

 

PRAYER

 

God of the still small voice,

teach us each day to find times for moments of quietness,

to pray and meditate on your gracious love.

Breathe peace within our souls,

so that we may see the demands and responsibilities

of daily life in a fresh light,

able to meet them with rekindled faith

and calm assurance, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Every Blessing,

Canon Dave                                                           19th June 2021

Canon Dave’s Weekly Message

Dear Friends

 

After travelling on the train from Buxton to Manchester on Thursday through the stunning countryside of the Peak District, we walked to the canal basin just outside Piccadilly station and chatted to some boaters who were clearly enjoying their two week holiday cruising the Cheshire Ring.

We then continued our walk through the city and watched people having coffee's outside cafes and chatting away with radiant smiles. Continuing on our walk through the city, we listened to a young man singing and playing the guitar delighting the crowds with familiar songs.

Sadly, in competition with him was a preacher standing on a box with confusing placards around him, shouting and ranting about the end of the world, telling people to repent before its too late. How embarrassing because nobody was taking any notice. I don't really think this is the way to introduce people to Christianity. The singer/songwriter had got it right and was helping the crowds to have a lovely day.