The Calming of the Storm
Gate Pa: June 24 2012
Hebrew Scripture: Isaiah 40: 1-11
Psalm: 85: 7-13
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 6: 1-13
Gospel: Mark 4: 35-41
What I want to say:
where do we feel like in midst chaos
there is no hope
as imitators of Christ – not rely on God to fix everything
but like Christ who slept in the storm
to trust God who is source of all goodness, who bends down in compassionate love and embraces us
What I want to happen:
people to continue to know whose they are and to live that out
1. intro to Mark.
# story heard this morning
Comes after Jesus in boat offering block teaching in series of parables:
Farmer sowing seed
Lamp-stand - need to use what have
Growing seed grows secret – produces corn
and he has had it
teaching and healing non stop
even family worried and tried take him away
Jesus says go to other side
Goes to back and goes to sleep
# He trusts them
Experienced fisherman – know what doing
- used to handling fishing boats in all conditions
- able look changing weather – go to safety when need to.
But caught out
This squall comes very fast – as it can
and is savage
as it can be
even more savage
# blasting down valley - out hill of Lebanon
intensifying as it comes
Greek used describe squall indicates that it is much more than just bad weather
word used – similar used describe demonic
Story is about much more than bad weather
Jesus lives in world everything is controlled by spirits and these are really bad spirits at work here
use language links story with others where Jesus is confronted with demonic
- Jesus and evil sprit in Capernaum – chapter 1 (after calling first disciple
- Jesus and Beelzebub in chapter 3 (after 12 appointed)
- Jesus healing demon possessed man (straight after this story)
- And several others
One themes Marks gospel is that Jesus overcomes the deep and destructive powers of demonic in the world
=> Sets people free to live lives in light and love of God
Story is symbolic of that struggle, and that outcome
# So have demonic storm hammering this boat and other boats that are there
Disciples begin to loose control
And in their panic
Demanding - “teacher don’t you care if we drown?”
2. Why do the disciples wake Jesus
3 3. How does Jesus sleep so well
ask people for thoughts
· These are his privileged followers who have already heard and responded
Seed is planted in them and is growing
· profound trust in God’s goodness, love and mercy
not trust God will fix everything and keep him safe and well
exhibits same trust Gethsemane and Golgotha
trust that he is held in God’s mercy, goodness and love
so that as Julian Norwich said – all shall be well,
keeps calm and is able to sleep
4. Jesus wakes
# Jesus is waken by cries of panic
And stands to speak to forces swirling around his boat
Says simply – “Peace, be still”
turns to disciples and says
“Why are you timid? Have you no faith?”
And they were afeared great fear, and said to one another, “Who the hell is this that even the wind and the sea listen to him?”
Ø what would we say?
Ø what does it mean to have faith in this story?
5. What is Mark trying to do?
# Mark not just writing a story here
writing to his community in such a way that addressed their issues and questions
like God does not care what is happening to us?
places them with disciples in boat
offering them hope when
they seem to loose control
they feel like they have no say and are powerless?
they are frozen into inaction
because that is the effect of the demonic in this story
people panic and are frozen into incction
But not Jesus
remains calm and trusting in the face of the demonic
– because he trusts in Gods goodness and love,
and that God has already overcome the demonic
so what is faith – trusting in God’s goodness and love and mercy
not being frozen into inaction
knowing that God does care even when all seems lost
This Gospel like all gospels was written as much for us as for his original hearers
We are same community of God, same church
Invites us into the boat with the disciples
Asks same questions:
When do we seem to loose control?
What are we panicking about?
When are we so buffeted?
When do we feel like we have no say and are powerless?
When are we frozen into inaction?
We too are offered hope.