Monday, June 19, 2006

What are you afraid of?

Jesus had just finished sharing those growth parables we heard about Sunday as well as a few other parable classics, and it was getting dark, and he was tired (okay, I added that last bit, but if you had been preaching all day by the seashore, you'd probably be tired). And he says: "Let us go across to the other side." Why? Well, presumably the crowd isn't on the other side and the boat ride might provide a little respite. So Jesus lay down on a cushion in the stern and went to sleep. A great windstorm arose. The disciples feared they would perish and woke Jesus, who looked directly into the storm as a parent looks at a disruptive child (okay, I added that simile, too), and he said: "Peace. Be still." And the storm ceased and there was calm. Then, after rebuking the storm, Jesus turned his attention to the disciples and said: "Why are you afraid?"

It's a good question for us, too. What are the storms that we face? Where are the places in our lives where we could use some calm? What is it that we fear? Do our fears paralyze us or motivate us? Or both/and? Both as individuals and as a community of faith what fears would we like to release into peace and calm? What are we afraid of? Can our faith help us overcome those fears? And, knowing what we know about living as servants of God -- both from our own experience and from Paul's description in our other reading this Sunday, can we still our fears and/or use them to energize us so we can continue God's work in the world?

The Gospel is from Mark 4:35-41. (But if you keep reading, you'll find out what Jesus faced on the other side of the sea.)
Also this week, we'll spend some time with 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, where Paul has words with the church in Corinth.

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