In our Gospel reading today we have Jesus caring for the five thousand, sending them on their way, telling the disciples to get in their boat and go ahead of him, and caring for himself by praying. And then, and then the walking on water and the calming of the disciples' fear and the raging storm takes place.
What if we were to think of this latter part of this portion of today's selection from Matthew's Gospel as metaphor. There is no one in this world who has not had some tumult in their life. Perhaps those tempests arise from unemployment or under-employment. Perhaps from a fracturing or ended relationship. Perhaps from sickness or the death of a loved one. Perhaps from loneliness or the sense that we have no one to care about us. Perhaps those rough waters arise from disagreements or arguments or unfaithfulness or betrayal. From wherever they arise, this account of Jesus in Matthew can be a basis from which we can find a way to live through those tempests.
By allowing Jesus and an intentional Christian community to be at the center of our lives, we can find a way to calm our fears and live a life that allows us to find a way through those raging seas. With Jesus' presence at the center of us, and the intentional community with whom we are sharing our lives there too, we can weather whatever storms rage around us. We can find a strong anchor to keep us safe and provide the necessary balance and strength to face all that comes our way.
This reading, that so many scoff at, is truly one that we should permit to inform how we approach all of life's situations that can rise up that seemingly try to frighten us and take us off our intended trajectory. Having trust in Jesus and the support of our intentional community can help us to deal with all that comes and find a way to calmer waters.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Welcoming a New Rector, 2011, jfd+