Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wake up!

If you are celebrating  the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost then there are some great readings (Proper 12) These include 1 Sam 17:1-49 (The story of David and Goliath) and/or 1 Sam 17:57-18:5. 10-16; Psalm 133, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; and one of my favourite passages  Mark 4:35-41 (awaking the sleeping Jesus

I always think when I read this story in Mark  4 of Jesus calming the storm
that my life almost always feels like a boat that is about to be swamped!
It is an image the Mark uses deliberately, I think, to speak to us about the nature of our lives.
The feeling of being swamped is ever with us.
What this story reminds us of too
is that Jesus is also always with usThis is his resurrection promise
-I will be with you always-
but we treat him as though he is asleep
it's often more convenient for us that way!!
The gist of the story is straightforward
we awake the sleeping Jesus and he can deal with the situation,
but there is more here than that.
He actually rebukes his disciples for their lack of faith.
Is he telling them here
that they should trust their own faith?
like David or like Paul,
and not simply drop their bundle and say to God ...Here you sort it all out!
This is often the way we treat God.
Let him sleep until we get into trouble!
then wake him up and drop the problem in his lap.
The rebuke that Jesus utters is about God expecting more of us than this.
We are to be people of faith
and to use that faith not let God's grace be in vain...
but rather act out a life of faith.
It is Jesus's promise to us
not that he will make all our problems disappear
but rather that we will be able to live our life in God's power
to do what God wants us to do
and to be faithful.
So it's not that Jesus can't meet our needs
it's that we also need to recognise that our needs can be met
by what God has given to us.
God does not expect us 
to allow ourselves to be overpowered 
by the divine majesty
but rather to cooperate.
This is what David did
this is what Paul did.
It is the way that Jesus shows us.

ConclusionI hope that we see that 
these stories move us on.
From a dependent immature faith
to one that acts powerfully in accord with God's will.
Our brashness, like David's, needs to be tested
we should not just presume on God's mercy.
But let's not waste what God has already done for us.
And being conscious of Jesus 
ever with us
we also are called to act as he acts.
This is powerful and important stuff 
that we are called to. 
Let this be the character of your life
and of mine.

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