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Today’s reflection, Storm, is written by Jane and based on Luke Chapter 8, Verses 22 to 25; the music is Jesus, hope of the nations; Brian has provided the poem Daily Walks and we conclude with the prayer of the week.

Luke’s Gospel Chapter 8, verses 22-25

22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, 23 and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. 24 They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”

Reflection, Bombshell

Boats are not a good subject in our home currently – Richard was supposed to be sailing this next week and to no surprise, it’s not possible to go. I am sorry he is disappointed, but the ‘Uh Oh’ stories that I hear, often quite a while later, often concern me: the time when the motor broke down and they struggled into shore, or when they got stuck on a sand bank and had to wait for the tide; a piece of fishing net got wrapped around the rudder, struggling to a jetty to wade in mud and release it. Not to mention of his friend Eddy falling in the brink when he overbalanced in the marina. I am talking of amateurs getting themselves into scrapes. The disciples of course were very experienced sailors – their livelihood depended upon it before they met Jesus.

They are the facts – but what are we to learn from this event which appears in all of the synoptic gospels? Jesus had spent some days teaching (see the earlier part of the chapter) and he had plans to continue. He was probably exhausted and took the opportunity of having a good sleep whilst they sailed across Lake Galilee. Jesus had told the disciples to go to the other side and they had acquiesced, without murmur, presumably because there was no sign of bad weather. Then trouble started, one of the notoriously unexpected storms arose on the lake and water started filling the boat to the extent that these experienced fishermen knew they were in danger. Then, they awoke Jesus. We don’t know what they expected to happen, but as we know Jesus had a few choice words about their faith, after restoring calm to the raging winds and sea.

What struck me was:-

  • when the disciples woke Jesus up; 
  • when they decided it was necessary to alert him to the problem; 
  • when the felt could not deal with the problem themselves.

Do we have a tendency to be so self-sufficient that we don’t put our plans, cares, worries into God’s hands until ……..there is a problem? Why do we do this? Do we forget and only when whoops, we can’t cope, we are reminded? Do we consider somethings too trivial to give to God? Do we think God isn’t interested in what we are doing? Maybe it’s something else. What we do know, is that all these reasons are false. God is interested in all of our lives, he knows us all by name everything important to us is important to him; he cries when we do He wants to be involved in our work, in everything, giving us wisdom, reassurance that we, as were the disciples, are not on our own no matter the situation. I am sure, as any parent that God would prefer not to wait until we are stuck on the sandbank, the Uh Oh moment when things have gone wrong.

As I mentioned last time, during this Uh Oh moment of the pandemic, lots of people are turning to God. Even ‘God willing’ comments give us opportunity to say, ‘Yes that is to whom I trust, to whom I pray.’ Can we share the awe and amazement of the disciples at Jesus command over the wind and the sea? Can we live our lives showing the trust we have in Jesus? Ormrod’s book ‘If you want to walk on water, you better get out of the boat,’ is an easy read, but challenging book on trusting God, experiencing the Holy Spirit in our lives.

In a few days’ time we will be celebrating Pentecost. Do we want God in all of our lives, or just for the Uh Oh moments?

Jane Oakes, 26th May 2020

The music ….

A Poem, Daily Walks

Do you have a dog,
Or is walking quite new ?
Did you go to the gym
Or just look at the view?
Are you healthier now
Than you were in the past –
And,if that is so,
How long will it last?

Before the invention
Of automobiles
You went for a ride,
Or took to your heels.
There was walking for pleasure
And having some fun,
Or for getting to places
Instead of a run.

For some, ‘promenading’
Was just the ‘done thing’ –
You went for a walk
To see and be seen.
All over Europe
In your Sunday best
You walked up and down
And then went for a rest.

In Solomon Islands
They just ‘hang around’.
( ‘Olé-olé vamua’
Makes just the right sound )
They’re not ‘going out’
But just ‘testing the air’
And hoping some friends
Will be ‘hanging out’ near.

The reason for walking
Is exercise now !
But what about birdsong
Or meeting a cow ?
There are many good reasons
For getting outside,

So let’s grasp the chance
And walk out with pride…

Brian Macdonald-Milne

Prayer of the week

Risen, ascended Lord,
as we rejoice at your triumph,
fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,
that all who are estranged by sin
may find forgiveness and know your peace,
to the glory of God the Father.