Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On the sea

Revised Common Lectionary for June 24, 2012

I preached on Sunday.

That said, lots of effort went into 
inwardly digesting 
lectionary readings 
for two weeks

So forgive me for not posting anything sooner.

While I was preparing to preach
I was looking for some music that connected with the emotions of the texts. 
I came across this video.


 "Fear not! You've got friends."

Now, if you haven't read the passage from the Gospel of Mark, read it now.

Jesus was frequently reminding the disciples to have faith which usually conveyed a meaning of trust in God.
The psalm for this week speaks about the difference between those who trust and maintain reverence for God, and those who follow their own ways. Yes, the psalmist calls them "wicked"  and ungodly.

The LORD will be a refuge for the oppressed, *
a refuge in time of trouble.
Those who know your Name will put their trust in you, *
for you never forsake those who seek you, O LORD.
Sing praise to the LORD who dwells in Zion; *
proclaim to the peoples the things he has done.
The Avenger of blood will remember them; *
he will not forget the cry of the afflicted.
Have pity on me, O LORD; *
see the misery I suffer from those who hate me,
O you who lift me up from the gate of death;
So that I may tell of all your praises
and rejoice in your salvation *
in the gates of the city of Zion.
The ungodly have fallen into the pit they dug, *
and in the snare they set is their own foot caught.
The LORD is known by his acts of justice; *
the wicked are trapped in the works of their own hands.
The wicked shall be given over to the grave, *
and also all the peoples that forget God.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten, *
and the hope of the poor shall not perish for ever.
Rise up, O LORD, let not the ungodly have the upper hand; *
let them be judged before you.
Put fear upon them, O LORD; *
let the ungodly know they are but mortal. 
Psalm 9:9-20
And while I was preparing last week this song came to mind.


 The disciples were annoyed at Jesus for sleeping while the storm rose up around them.
Jesus was annoyed at their failure to grasp the significance of the power which had already been imparted to them. But, to be fair to you, if you are new at reading the Bible let me explain. To follow the stories of any of the Gospels so that you keep them in their context, you really must read the entire Gospel from beginning to end. The gospel was originally composed for use in a public setting, as a dramatic biography for the people. The Revised Common Lectionary serializes the Scriptures which makes it manageable to read through the Bible over a three year period.

Anyway, Jesus was in the back of the boat resting, and trusting in the skill of the fishermen he invited to follow them. And I think "Why would a carpenter need to keep an eye on the work of fishermen while on the sea? Who would be better trained to handle the work? In the end, Jesus knows how to tap into the power of God, where the disciples have not yet grasped the significance of their own commissioning. They wouldn't until after Jesus was crucified, buried, and risen.

We are more fortunate than the first disciples only because we have the advantage of knowing the end of the story. They had to live the experience to its end without that.

When I was watching Pete Seeger play, I was struck by the sense that most of the people listening displayed very little emotion. It was not until the end of the video that I realized they were always staring at his back. They lacked an ability to make eye to eye connection. As we travel along, on the sea of life, need to connect with others face to face to be what God has created us to be, bearers of the image of God. I suppose, because Jesus was at the back of the boat, and the other men would have faced the  bow of the boat as they made their way across the lake, it was just natural for them to fall victim to their own fears. When I look someone in the eye, I am reminded of the presence of God dwelling in others. It becomes a sacred space of connection.

As you go through the week, think about the people that particularly convey a peaceful presence.
Are you feeling anxious?
How might you resolve that anxiety by leaning more heavily into a spiritual practice within a community instead of doing it alone?

May you be blessed, 
May you be at peace, 
May you be filled with hope and compassion

You can find all the Scripture passages in the Revised Common Lectionary at the link below.

Revised Common Lectionary for June 24, 2012

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