Let us journey with the risen Lord, reconnecting with His Spirit and His word and growing in faith.
Keep Hope in Jesus
Let us read Mark Chapter 4, 35 – 41
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”
36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.
37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
“Let’s go over to the other side” We are not there yet. We are in more than uncertain times. We thought we could master everything, control everything. In the age of nanotechnology, here is a nano thing that is striking down the whole of humanity. Our world is falling apart, our certainties are crumbling, our mad rush to possessions is broken, our securities are shaken... fear lives in us and we have more questions than answers.
This pericope of the Gospel of Mark brings hope. It is not without reminding us of this beautiful French song, "si la mer se déchaîne..." (If the sea breaks loose) which was written based on it. We have been so used to a foreseeable, predictable world, believing that "life is a long, quiet river." Our cry is also the cry of the disciples, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
We are about to live the post Covid, and many will not find what they left before 20th March. The economic situation of our country does not suggest an immediate better tomorrow. For many, this could mean retiring prematurely, for others, it could imply voluntary wage reductions, for others still, it could equal to the loss of their jobs… the socio-economic gaps will become even deeper. This cry, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” will come back to our mouth.
The storm is likely to last after the deconfinement. We will be tossed about, torn between several things. It could be the end of a whole world, of the balance that we have built for ourselves. Our faith in the days and weeks to come will be put to test. Worry has escalated for many with our national aviation company being put under voluntary administration. Other companies may experience the same fate, or worse. “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
The Christian is called not to despair. Turpitudes can last a long time, but the Lord reassures us like in our pericope that He does not sleep. The tragedy can go on like that of the exile of the people of Israel as a result of their disobedience to the Lord. The people had been lured by a false prophet about an imminent release from their Babylonian confinement. The Lord intervenes through Jeremiah in the middle of this confinement (which lasted 70 years) to give his word of Hope: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah, 29.11.
And in another context, the Apostle Paul says: "...but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5, 3 – 5.
Hope does not deceive and does not disappoint, since it comes from the victory of the resurrection of Jesus. When we dwell in the love of God, we have this assurance that God’s promises will not be in vain.
This week as we are heading towards a possible deconfinement, I prepare to ’go over to the other side’ with Jesus even if the trip looks uncertain.
Lord, thank you for the victory of the cross. I bless you for the love poured into my heart by the Holy Spirit. My Hope in you will not deceive me. Amen!