Calming the External Storm

When I was asked to speak at a teen retreat on the topic, “Storms of Life: Can God Help Us?” I knew exactly what gospel passages I would be using. It is not often that all three synoptic gospels tell the same stories in the same order. But these four stories are found in the same order; calming the storm, the driving the demons into the pigs, the healing of the woman with the flow of blood and the raising of Jairus’ daughter. All of the stories deal with storms of life and how God intervenes to help. Today a very brief reflection on the calming of the storm. Over the next couple of days I will blog the other stories.

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 set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a storm of wind came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even wind and water, and they obey him? Luke 8:22-25

Jesus and the disciples get in the boat and set sail. They have an appointment with danger, with suffering, and with trials. The disciples are obviously terrified by the storm. But it is only after Christ calms the chaos that we are told they were afraid. The disciples began by being afraid of the storm but ended by being more profoundly afraid in the presence of Him whose voice thundered upon chaos.

Who goes through the storms of life? Every one.

The disciples were safe in the boat with Christ. Many people today (some of them “Christians”) want nothing to do with Christ or His Boat, the Church.

Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.” And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. Matthew 7:24-29

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5 Comments

Filed under Orthodox Christianity, Scripture Rumination

5 responses to “Calming the External Storm

  1. Marlene kaim

    Thanks, Fr. James.
    What a comfort to know we are all in the Boat together!
    Where do I find the icon you show of Christ calms the sea? One of Gabriel’s favorite I’ve been searching for…
    Love to your family and praying for calm waters for the new year.

  2. Christy Bronson

    Thank you for this timely message to our teens (and their parents!), Fr. James. I follow your blog regularly. Like to hear what you are reading and your inspirations as well. Keep up the skateboarding.

  3. Pingback: Calming the Storms of Life « Scholé

  4. Hello, please could you let me know how to integrate your news in my rss reader, i cant find here the orange rss symbol…

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