Jesus sends his disciples out to preach repentance, but I do not think he means for them or us to preach condemnation. As Jesus sends his disciples out empty-handed, I wonder if he also means for us to travel lightly, without so many assumptions about who is right and who is wrong. Perhaps our mission is to preach repentance in a different way, inviting each other to return to God and experience a change of heart.
In the Gospel lesson we just heard from Mark, Jesus’ disciples are shouting. In the middle of the lake, in the midst of a howling gale, in a boat that is beginning to sink, they shout at Jesus, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” These are words that could come easily out of our own mouths. We, too, have known storms in our lives, storms where it seemed that chaos had the upper hand. Teacher, do you not care that we are drowning and perishing? Today, we gather in this place that is sometimes called a sanctuary, perhaps wondering if this is a safe place. We may be wondering if God is going to be here for us. I believe that in the middle of the maelstrom, in the tumult of the tempest, God is with us. God has the power to still the storm, but more importantly God has the love to open our hearts and calm our fears. God is still with us.
Is it possible, even probable that within each of us there resides a drift seed? That within each of us there is a seed germinating, humming, growing planted there by a loving God who knit us together in the womb? And as we go into the world, we carry that seed with the potential to let it go and to flourish?
And that we are the ocean current carrying it along?
From the Rev. Joe Hensley, rector, St. George’s Episcopal Church Fredericksburg, VA | Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B, April 26, 2015 “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.” There are few other words in scripture that are more comforting. I have said them at the bedside of sick and dying persons. I have […]
From the Rev. Joe Hensley, rector, St. George’s Episcopal Church Fredericksburg, VA | Third Sunday of Easter Year B, April 19, 2015 Peace be with you. These are the risen Jesus’ first words to his disciples as he appears to them late on that Easter Day. These are the words we share with one another […]