On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’
(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
I can get "sea-sick" in the library van! I don't like boats or anything that rocks, as for instance with rides in amusement parks. However, for many years I have lived near the sea. I have seen its power in Cumbria where it blew a car door shut that broke someone's arm, and in Wales where wind and sea were equally dangerous. But the worst storm was in the most predictable place - between Ireland and the UK. The overnight crossing was subject to the worst storm I have ever seen, and all we could do was to endure!
The storm on the Sea of Gennesaret (ie Lake of Galilee, or Sea of Galilee - it has many names) occur frequently as the wind rushes down the ravines that run north and south. Exhausted, Jesus is asleep, and the storm does not disturb him. On waking he rebukes the wind and the sea - rather like a parent rebuking a child, using the words "Peace! Be still!" And all is calm again.
All of these parables and miracles, have as we know other meanings. The stilling of the storm is not just an amazing one off occurrence, it should also have meaning for us today, over 2,000 years later. The point is that where Jesus is there is calmness. At the centre is a point of stillness. We can tap into that peacefulness when we are stressed, tired, worried, or sick, and learn to calm our heart and mind, and accept His peace into our life.
Lord Jesus Christ,
still the storm in our hearts and minds.
Take away all that concerns and worries us
and fill us with Your peace.
For where You are is quiet and still
and we would share that peacefulness.
Then give us the courage to face
our challenges knowing that You are with us.