GOING TO THE LORD IN CRISIS
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
During this pandemic, is Jesus asleep? Doesn’t He care that there are those who are perishing? Doesn’t He understand the fear, the anxiety, the pressure so many are under right now? Because, if He did care and did understand, wouldn’t He put an immediate end to the crisis?
C.S. Lewis once made the observation in The Problem of Pain: “The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it…But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Like the disciples on the boat, God has our attention during this pandemic.
Jesus awakes from His slumber and commands the storm to literally “be muzzled.” However, the calming of the storm is not the main point of the story. The main point is that the One who governs the wind and the sea is to be believed. He alone is God. In Him alone is salvation.
Jesus asks, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” You see, those who believe in Jesus — the One Who conquered sin and death on the cross — are released from fearing the circumstances of the moment. This release allows us to rejoice in the midst of suffering (Romans 5 and Romans 8) and lean outside ourselves to serve others (John 13).
That is precisely how we as a congregation are shaping our ministry response during these uncertain days. We joyfully point people to Christ who saves all people and confidently lean outward to love others as we walk through this time together.