Summary: This is my first response message to COVID-19. Jesus calming the storm
Everything was fine, and then it wasn’t.
That is the reality in our world today. Everything was fine, and then it wasn’t.
Do you remember when you heard about the Coronavirus? Maybe it was the result of a funny meme on Facebook, or an obscure news story about a city in china that you had never heard about. But the thought of it affecting your everyday life never crossed your mind.
If someone had told you what March break 2020 would look like, you’d wonder what would possess them to even speak those words.
All the major sports leagues shut down, schools cancelled from anywhere from three weeks to five months, being unable to sit in a restaurant or a coffee shop with friends. Airplanes grounded and the entire cruise industry shut down.
I enjoy a good post-apocalyptic thriller as much as anyone, but I never really expected to be living it.
As I was writing this message I looked out my window, the sun was shining, the day looked normal, until you noticed the lack of traffic on the Hammonds Plains Road and the empty parking lot at the Tim Hortons across the street.
Our District Superintendent summed it up the other day when he said it was like living in a Science fiction movie. But it’s no movie.
I am not a scientist, I am not an expert on what’s happening.
I love the meme on Facebook that said “That’s odd, All my Facebook friends who were constitutional scholars just a month ago are now infectious disease experts.”
I’m not that guy, and so when people ask me: Are we overreacting? My response is: I have no idea. I do know this, when this is all over, if we feel that we overreacted, that means that it worked.
I don’t think that anyone would have suspected that after fewer than a 1000 confirmed cases of a disease, across our country, and fewer than 10 confirmed deaths related to that disease, that Canada would be put into a state of emergency?
That isn’t how it works in the books and movies. They wait until half that country has been infected and half of those have died. It’s here we cue the Mad Max music, from the original of course
But what do we do when everything goes to pieces?
Let’s take a look at an incident in the Jesus story that might give us some ideas. Our scripture reading this morning comes from the gospel of Luke although the same story is found in Matthew and Mark’s accounts.
It was a dark and stormy night. I’ve always like starting a story like that.
The wind howled blowing the top off the breakers before they crashed back into the troughs below. The darkness was broken by momentary streaks of light as the clouds raced across the face of the full moon. Could it be?
Yes, it was hard to believe but there was a boat there. In the middle of this tremendous storm was a little open boat, barely afloat. Hard to believe but there it was. And if we were able to zoom in on that hardy little fishing boat we would discover that it was occupied by thirteen men.
Twelve fighting for their lives and one sound asleep. And you’d have to ask yourself, how in the world did experienced fishermen who had fished this area all their lives get themselves into this mess?
Well the story is found in Luke 8:22–25 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”
The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
Everything was fine, and then it wasn’t.
By this point in the story, Christ had already preached the Sermon on the Mount, had cleansed a leper, and healed the centurion’s servant.
Peter’s mother in law had been healed and Jesus had touched and healed many others. The multitudes had gathered around and evening was coming so he decided it was time to have a break and so the thirteen of them got into a boat which was probably either Peter’s or James’ and headed across the sea of Galilee.
Sometimes I find myself identifying more and more with the apostles. I spent three years at sea and saw some dozy storms during that time. The smallest vessel I served on was a hundred- and twenty-foot tug and the largest was a six-hundred-and-thirty-foot oil tanker.