Wednesday

7 November 2018

Mark 4:35-41

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?' (vs 40-41)

Psalm: Psalm 30
Singing the Faith 624: Calm me, Lord

Background

Jesus has been teaching his disciples about the kingdom and has been preparing them to be sent out in mission. They remain with him a little while longer, but the time has come for them to return to the work on the other side of the lake. He calls them again to come and follow him and they set off in the boat. The storm arises, the disciples are fearful, Jesus sleeps. There is almost the feeling that this is another testing of the disciples by Jesus. The disciples wake Jesus, he rebukes the wind and calls for peace. Then he rebukes the disciples and challenges their faith. He has been talking of mighty things, he has taught them of the greatness of the kingdom, yet still they are not sure. Still they ask, who is this Jesus that even the wind and sea obey him? Will they ever be ready to go out in mission on their own?

We often use the story of the storm on the Sea of Galilee as a metaphor for life. Bad things happen, we suffer sickness, we encounter challenging situations and we refer to them as the storms of life. In encountering such storms, we appeal to the Lord who calmed Galilee’s storms, saved his disciples from drowning, and brought peace amidst the turmoil, to do the same for us.

When facing adversity, Christian people put their faith in a God who saves. The psalmist offers a hymn of praise to the Lord who carries us through our troubles and who does not let our foes overwhelm us. The psalmist rejoices in the God who heals and restores life and who brings joy out of sorrow.

David Adam’s hymn is a meditation on the calming ways of God and brings together the images and thoughts for today. Adam calls upon the Lord to calm us, as he calmed the storm, to still us and keep us from harm. He calls upon the Lord to enfold us in peace.

 

To Ponder

  • How does the church equip and encourage us so that, when we encounter the storms of life, our faith helps us through?
  • How, in worship, do we encounter the calming ways of God? Are there particular activities or techniques that we find helpful?

 


Bible notes author

The Revd Dr Adrian Burdon

The Revd Dr Adrian Burdon is Superintendent Minister of the Shaw & Royton Circuit in the Manchester & Stockport District. Adrian has been a presbyter since 1988 and, in addition to urban Lancashire, has worked on the Fylde Coast, in Leeds City Centre, the North East of England and as a mission partner in the South Pacific. Adrian is Chair of the CTBI Writing group which writes material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and serves on the liturgical subcommittee of the Methodist Church.