Revd Sara's Reflections for w/c 11th February 2024
Revd Sara’s Reflection Sunday 11/2/24
Read Mark 6:45-52 45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
One of my favourite moments in the Narnia series of books by C.S. Lewis comes in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. In the midst of a dark, dangerous and chaotic situation where everything seems to be against them, Aslan comes to Lucy and whispers the words ‘Courage, dear heart.’ I cannot help but think that the story of Jesus walking on the water was on Lewis’s mind as he wrote that episode. It seems clear from the way Mark tells the story that the disciples are in fear for their lives. The natural world is opposing them in the storm and then they see a figure who their fear filled minds think is a ghost. They scream in terror. Then Jesus speaks; ‘Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.’ As he climbs into the boat, everything is calm. Not for the first time in Mark, the storm ceases (4:35-41). They are astonished and Mark puts their astonishment down to a lack of understanding. Even after the miracle of the bread and fish, they still haven’t realised who they are dealing with, Jesus. Nor have they grasped the implications of who he is for their everyday existence. If Jesus really is God’s anointed king entering into God’s world to remake, restore and renew it, then we do not need to be afraid. We can face every storm with courage because we know that even when things do not make sense, our covenant keeping God is with us and will bring us safely home.
There is a hope that lifts my weary head,A consolation strong against despair,That when the world has plunged me in its deepest pit,I find the Saviour there!Through present sufferings, future’s fear,He whispers ‘courage’ in my ear.For I am safe in everlasting arms,And they will lead me home.(From There is a Hope by Stuart Townend)