06192021 – Mark 4. 35-41

 

This is not the way, I originally intended on starting out today.

 

But sometimes you have to GO as you are directed.  Go, with the flow…

 

I had envisioned, LENA HORNE, singing “Stormy Weather,” followed quickly by BOB DYLAN with “Shelter from the Storm,” and then, “Riders on the Storm” by the DOORS. It would have been lit. Toe tapping to be sure. It would have been very nostalgic and brought back memories for some…it would have been epic.

But then, a change in plans…

 A doctor called a guy into his office and said, “I’ve got some BAD NEWS and some WORSE NEWS. The “bad news” is, you have a terminal disease and have only 10 days to live.”

The man looked at his doctor in “total disbelief” and “astonishment” and finally when he could talk, he said, “What news could be WORSE than that?”

The doctor replied, “We couldn’t get a hold of you for nine days!”

I realize THAT IS a subject NOT TO BE TAKEN lightly.

And I assure you, I do not.

But the wisdom behind sharing it – is that – “there are churches” who publicly proclaim and teach, IF YOU ONLY GIVE ENOUGH, IF YOU ONLY BELIEVE ENOUGH, IF YOU ONLY HAVE FAITH ENOUGH, then, all your problems will GO AWAY.

(I hope you caught the emphasis on YOU, YOU, YOU!)

We KNOW that is NOT always THE CASE.

WE KNOW that kind of proclamation is NOT helpful, but rather, “extremely” HARMFUL, and hurtful.

The same kind of thinking is present in the phrase, “MY GOD IS BIGGER THAN YOUR STORM.”

Yes. “MY GOD IS BIGGER.”  But SOME OF US do not EMERGE safely through the storms of this life…

None of this – is the point that Mark is attempting to make.

WE ARE THE ONES – who have made the comparison of “the storms in OUR LIFE,” with the story of the “STILLING of the STORM at sea.”

We are the ONES who try to make the Scriptures be about US. It is not about US. It is about OUR GOD.

We are good at trying to interject ourselves into every conversation, to make everything be about us. IT IS NOT!

This is not about YOU.

This is about the Son of God.

This is not about your bunions, your hang nails, your arthritis, your bad back, your bad hip, your diabetes or your children’s marriage.

IT IS ABOUT a literal storm at sea. One of those storms that comes out of nowhere. And lasts, as long as it does.

WINDS so strong.

WAVES so high…boats cannot maneuver. They are tossed back and forth. And sometimes, capsized.

Boats actually breaking apart…and MEN’s lives are lost at sea.

Rather, Mark is LIFTING Jesus up.

Not you, not me…

Who is this guy?

Who can control demons?

Who can heal the sick and the lame?

Who can feed the hungry?

Who has this kind of control and mastery over the forces of nature itself?

Again, just WHO IS THIS GUY?

And, if he is capable of this feat, WHAT ELSE is he capable of doing?

 

Is this “the Messiah?”

Is this “the Son of God?”

JUST who is “this rabbi” from Nazareth in Galilee?

 

We know at least four of the disciples were weathered fishermen. They knew about the complexities of handling a boat. They knew about storms at sea. And THEY WERE rattled, scared, afraid, and shaken.

 

Jesus (as you know) was a student of the scriptures. He loved and wrestled with them throughout his life.

 

I imagine he had READ and KNEW Psalm 107, verses 28-29, that says, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress; he made the storm be still and the waves of the sea were hushed.”

 

The WORD was being “acted out” before their vary eyes.

 

Psalm 65 says, “You silence the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves.”

 

And with one word…there is peace…there is shalom…there is quiet. The waves have died down, the winds have ceased.  There is nothing.

 

Who DOES THIS?

Who is capable of DOING this?

Certainly not us!

But GOD IS – and therein lies the point.

 

The other point Mark is making is Jesus is there. He is present. He is along-side. He is with.

 

Yes, we all go through “our storms” in this life. The important thing to remember is, no matter WHAT you are going through…GOD IS WITH YOU. You are never alone, hangnails and all.

 

Amen.