There is something about the calming of the storm that attracts us. We needn’t have been in that particular situation to identify with the disciples’ sense of being saved by Christ.
Whatever situation we find is our storm, Christ is there to tell us: ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ Whilst in itself framed negatively, this statement from Christ should impact on us wholly positively. It is a call, not only to the disciples but to us, as Christ’s followers, to let go of our fears and to embrace trust in Him.
That is not an easy thing to do. It demands that we let go, that we abandon our fears. And it isn’t just our fears that we must let go of. In many ways, we should also abandon our other boundaries, our preconceptions and preferences, all of the boundaries that we think are sensible but that actually hold us back. The Gospels are an account of Christ asking us to let go of the social and moral conventions we think are supreme, in place for a single commandment, which is to love. And, as much as we believe that we are people of great love, sometimes our own prejudicial fears can capsize our sense of love, and we can go under, into the deep.
So, what can we do today, this week, to abandon our fears? At least, to begin with, we could read the Gospel, place ourselves in the story, and find our place in a Gospel of freedom and of love.
A reading from the Gospel according to Mark (4:35-41)
Glory to you, O Lord.
With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’
And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’
They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.