notes from a small curate
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK
Mark 4 - Jesus in the boat
Good Shepherd Family / Parade service 25/6/2006
Job 38.1-11, Mark 4.35-end
'Jesus Stills the Storm' - Mark 4:35-41 from the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada website:
(an interactive reading - people to respond in sounds and actions whenever they hear reference to sleep/tiredness, wind/waves, thunder/storm)
The day was almost over and Jesus was getting tired. It had been a very busy time for Jesus because He had spent a lot of time telling stories to the rotapeople and teaching them how they should live.
Jesus said to His friends, "Come with Me across the lake". The disciples were fishermen so they had their boats nearby. Together with Jesus, they climbed into the boat to sail to the other side of the lake. Jesus laid down in the back of the boat with a cushion under His head and very quickly fell asleep.
They were sailing quickly across the lake when suddenly, very strong winds began to blow on the water. The little blue waves got bigger and bigger. They changed quickly from little blue waves to big, strong, dark grey waves. The waves splashed against the boat with smashes! Suddenly, the sound of crashing thunder began to rumble loud and clear. The higher the waves got, the louder the thunder got.
The fishermen pulled on the ropes to take the sails down. Some tried to scoop water out of the boat. But bigger, stronger waves came into the boat faster than they could get the water out! Because of the strong wind and the big waves, it was hard to steer the boat.
The boat was filling up with water! No matter how hard the fishermen worked, they could not empty the boat. The boat was beginning to sink! Jesus' special friends, His disciples, were getting worried now!
"We're going to fall into the water and drown!" one of the disciples yelled. "Where is our friend, Jesus now?!" another fisherman asked.
Jesus was still sleeping in the back of the boat. The storm did not even wake Jesus. He just kept sleeping.
The fishermen couldn't wait any longer. They were afraid that they were going to die in the water.
They woke Jesus up by calling to Him, "Teacher! Teacher, don't you care if we drown?!" They couldn't believe He was peacefully sleeping through the storm!
Jesus awoke and stood up. He looked right at the crashing waves and shouted at the strong wind, "Quiet! Be still!"
Right in front of them, the fishermen saw the big, frightening waves become small. The strong wind became a gentle breeze. The boat floated safely on top of the peaceful lake. The disciples were amazed! They had just seen Jesus perform a miracle!
"Why were you afraid? Don't you have faith in God?" Jesus asked His friends.
Jesus' disciples could hardly believe what they saw. They were surprised but they realized that their friend, Jesus, had helped them when they needed His help!
Questions / discussion:
Have you ever been in a storm?
What recent storms have we seen in the world / experienced in the UK?
"Where was God?" in them - something we get asked / ask ourselves in the 'storms' of our lives.
In the story, Jesus was with them IN the boat ... from that we can assert that God is with us IN the storm.
(They had to wake him up ... he responded immediately to their cries)
Tsunami, Boxing Day 2004:
from the Christian Aid website
High on a sand dune outside the village of Manatkadu, northern Sri Lanka, is a graveyard. Seventy-three people are buried here, the crosses standing out against the darkening sky, crows cawing in the sunset.
'We don't know what happened to my mother and sister. We can only imagine,' says Desilda Mary, 20, who now cares for her father and brothers and is learning to sew in a class run by the Jaffna Social Action Centre so she can earn a living.
'I go to their graves often. When I climb the sand dune, I feel like weeping. When I reach the grave, I light incense sticks and strew the ground with flowers and say prayers.'
Desilda Mary's prayers are a sign that she feels that God is with her in the ongoing storm she is in. Her prayers are 'waking up God' in faith that he may respond to her cries.
There are other 'storms', every day: and WE can be God's hands and feet to help bring 'peace'...
Bono, talking to American leaders last year:
from the DATA website
"Look at what happened in South East Asia with the Tsunami. 150, 000 lives lost to that misnomer of all misnomers, "mother nature". In Africa, 150,000 lives are lost every month. A tsunami every month. And it's a completely avoidable catastrophe.
"God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. "If you stop pointing the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom with become like midday and the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places"
Jesus is in the boat with us: God IS with us in the storms. By our prayers we can 'wake up God' - and we can be God's hands and feet to help bring 'peace' to others in the storms in their lives.