It’s been a while, I know. this is a sermon possibility for Sunday, 24 June 2012. For Liturgical wonks, that’s Proper 7 – Year B. Jesus calms the storm, and the disciples get their britches wet.
There is a storm. A big storm. The boats are being swamped. Water is coming in. Grab a bucket.
Jesus, for whatever reason, manages to sleep through this. What? Sleep through this? With his head on a cushion? Was he that dead tired? Who knows? They wake him. Why did they waken him? Because they wanted him to fret with them? Or because they wanted to give him a bucket, too?
Did they have a clue? I think not.
So, Jesus wakes up. He sounds a bit grouchy to me. Wouldn’t you be? So, Jesus rebukes the wind (that’s the same Greek word as when he rebukes evil spirits). Jesus says, Peace, be still. The Greek words lend a different sort of meaning: “Be Silenced! Be muzzled!”
“Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.”
“And they were filled with great awe “ – the Greek says they “feared a great fear” phobeo phobos megas
If they weren’t already wet and swamped with water, they would have needed to change their britches.
“Who is this” What manner of man is this? What the heck is going on? Even the wind and sea obey him!
Where is the fear, now? Is it the storm? That’s gone. It’s dead calm. No wind. What’s this fearing a great fear? It’s Jesus. The storm was one thing. But Jesus? What the heck is going on?
Are we more afraid of the storm, or of the one who can calm it? Is it the wind, or Jesus? Which did they fear most?
And what about you?
Often, I want to blame the storms on God. Or, at least, blame God for not holding them back. Then, I wonder why Jesus is asleep in the boat. Is makes life simpler when we can blame it on God.
God did not let Job get away with that. Jesus does not let the disciples get away with that, either.
With stories like this, I am sometimes more afraid of what Jesus might do, if I waked him up.
Are we more comfortable with the storms than we are with Jesus? What might he do?
And, there is another thing. They are in sailboats. “There was a great calm”. No wind. Do you know what that means, in a first century sailboat?
Get out your oars. That’s what.
Is it time we put away our buckets, and got out our oars?