Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Meditation VIII -- Storms

"And the men marveled, saying, 'What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?'"

These men might have asked themselves, "What sort of man is this that sleeps through storms?" or they might have asked "What sort of teacher rebukes his disciples for a lack of faith they didn't even know they were supposed to have?" But the disciples, still in awe at the miracle of their salvation, could only wonder at the one they had not yet learned to see as the Son of God.

Had not Jesus recently taught them "do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" and "your Father knows what you need before you ask him"? Yes, but the disciples had not been made ready to put the words of the lesson to the actions of life. They were not thinking of "tomorrow" at all, and it had not occurred to them that "tomorrow" might mean any moment in the future, even the few minutes from now in which they might perish. They could only think of that moment, the few minutes before their possible deaths. And they could muster in their minds only two certainties: they would die and Jesus could save them.

God, we are told by the psalmist, "never slumbers nor sleeps." However, the disciples had not yet seen the God that Jesus is. All they knew was the powerful man, the one who not only told the elements what to do, but also spoke words of comfort and encouragement to a people poor and oppressed, who expected of them both more and less than their other teachers had. He had the peace that passes understanding so that he could sleep in storms and could know how to handle such a "little" thing as a tossed about boat.

Christ continues to baffles us. This was the one who would choose, after all his miracles, to not save himself. This was the one who would defeat even the final reality, death. And only when that happened, did the whole of his teaching begin to make sense to the disciples. They began to remember what he had told Him about living, and started to proclaim His Life.

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