Dear Christ Church Family,
The miracle stories of Jesus always contain great truths about how our relationship with Jesus really works. So often we think that we have it all worked out. Nothing more to figure out. Then along comes an old story that hits us in a new way, and we learn or relearn something that changes everything we thought we knew. Yes, Jesus is in our boat. But, how did he get there, and why?
Friday, March 20, 2020 RCL Daily Office Readings, Year 2
News Flash: Jesus comes to us! I love this particular Jesus-on-the-water-story; more so than some of the others. Why? Because this one pictures the way things usually are when we really could use his presence with us. That makes this one a bit different from the others. In one of the most famous stories, Jesus is already in the boat, asleep, and the Disciples are demanding that he wake up and save them. Most of us have probably recited the Disciples’ famous question to Jesus ourselves at some point in life, “Master, don’t you care that we are perishing?
But, in this story, the Disciples are not even thinking of Jesus. They’re tough sailors; experienced seamen. They’ve handled tougher problems; they’ll handle this one just like everything else. Never mind that they are tired, seriously stressed, and making no progress in solving their problem; namely beating the elements and getting to shore. They’re going to keep pounding away at this until either they or the storm wins. But Jesus knows that they need him, and so he comes to their aid unbidden. They have Jesus so removed from their thoughts, they are so not looking for him, that they are shocked; so shocked that Jesus has to remind them of who he is. He gets into their boat, and unasked takes control.
Isn’t that the picture of how it so often is for you and me? Problems arise and we go about solving them. That’s what we do. We do it at work, at home, at church, wherever. We’re used to it. It’s part of our identity. We solve our own problems, because that’s what we expect of ourselves. Even when the problem is beyond our ability to solve, we will keep on “keeping on” till something gives. But some problems can’t be solved by just keeping at them. Some problems are beyond our control, and we need help; we need Jesus.
What this story is saying is that Jesus loves us so much, he will come to us even when we don’t realize that we need him; even when we’re not thinking of him at all. Jesus doesn’t require being summoned. He comes because he considers you and me to be his friend, and he does what a real friend does, he is thinking of us, and watching out for us, even when we’re not doing a good job of watching out for him or ourselves.
Jesus takes it upon himself to climb into our boat. What a shock! No matter how short or long a time we’ve followed Jesus, that message still needs to be learned and relearned. News Flash: Jesus comes to us! Thank God!
Note: These Daily Devotionals will pick up again on Monday. Stay tuned.
* Commemorations in italics are from A Great Cloud of Witnesses; others are from Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2018.