When Jesus’ disciples are gathered together in a boat to cross the sea, they have no idea a storm is coming. When it does come, they do everything in their power to stop it. That is, except to call on Jesus. It’s only when they despair for life that they even bother to wake him. And then, it’s only to accuse him of not caring. They need a vision of God’s Presence in Tough Times.
The disciples actually think the storm is the result of God turning against them. The raging seas, after all, are a motif of God’s judgment in the Hebrew Bible. But when Jesus stills the storm, he shows them two important things. First, he uses his words to set creation back in order, just as God did in Genesis 1. I taking charge over the storm, Jesus is showing that he is God. Second, he uses the same language he used in exorcising demons. By doing so, he shows the storm isn’t God’s doing, but the doing of malign forces. So taken together, he shows them that he is God, present with them. And he is able to conquer the chaos and evil in the world around him.
Like the disciples in the boat, the church is the gathered collection of God’s people. And just like in that boat, in our church, he is present with us. The disciples needed to call on God to act, and so must we. This world is distorted by the presence of evil. Our prayers are a call for God to set things right. But often we, like them, try to fix things ourselves. Instead, let’s learn to call out to God, to seek God’s presence in tough times, to invite him to work in the swirling storm around us.
Questions for Reflection
- If Jesus is present with us, waiting for our invitation to set the world right, what discourages us from this sort of prayer?
- When we face difficulty, what difference does it make that Jesus is present with us?
- Are we grieved by the chaos and evil in the world beyond our own circle of friends and acquaintances? How can we be intentional about inviting God to act in setting the world right? What part might he be asking us to play in putting that healing into action?
Other Sermons In This Series