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The Chalice
Friday, June 21 2024

Jesus in the Storm
by Dan Flynn

Parables finished, the crowd headed home,
As sunset fell further upon their shalom;
And Jesus, twelve men, and a boat upon foam,
Cross waters, with fishermen’s skill.

From out of the east, great thunderclouds swept
Exhausted, below in the stern, Jesus slept.
Twelve men huddled close, while a sudden squall crept
Upon them: "Drown us, it will!"

Wakened from slumber, Jesus climbed up the stairs,
Disciples disheveled and drenched in such cares;
When Jesus erupted, in a thunderous blare –
A command: "Quiet! Be Still!"

The wind whirled off, with the waves close in tow,
Men’s faces agape, and their knees like Jell-O,
Their chaos turned silent, "Who is this Fellow,
That nature obeys with such thrill?"

Martin Luther once said, “Even though he sleeps, Christ is in the boat.” As I mentioned in my last sermon, Jesus was exhausted. He was healing and preaching while his family was trying to pull him away, the crowds were pressing in, and the Pharisees wanted to hang him from a tree. He didn’t have time to eat. So he escaped with his disciples to a place away from the crowds. "Let us go across to the other side." Jesus said. And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Jesus “was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.” He badly needed rest. “A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped”. The fishermen were in a panic, so we can assume that they were hit with a serious squall. The disciples “woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? (Mark 4:35-41)"

Jesus had the power to calm the sea and still the waves. Luther said that we will all face storms in our lives. My heart is broken by what Hamas did to Israel and because so many innocent women and children have died in Gaza. I pray for peace in Ukraine, but God gives every one of us the free will to love each other or make bad choices. The Gospel helps us to make good choices and to live together in peace. Last week our ECW had a lovely dinner and highlighted a beautiful ministry of loving our neighbor called “Part of the Solution.” Many folks face storms in their lives and this non-profit offers jobs, housing, food, and even showers. The ministry we do through the ECW helps dozens of organizations like this one. When we support the Harvest Fair and other events, we participate in the answering of prayers. We help Jesus calm the wind and still the seas. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in the world according to Mother Teresa. So the next time you face a storm in your life, remember that Jesus might be asleep, but he is right in the boat with you. And so are we!

In Christ’s love,
Fr. Duncan

Posted by: Rev. Duncan A. Burns AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
St. John's Episcopal Church
12 Prospect St. | Huntington, NY 11743 | PH: (631) 427-1752
Sunday Services at 8 AM and 10 AM
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