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Summary: PENTECOST 5, YEAR B - Jesus calms the storms

INTRODUCTION

The story opens in a hospital room, late in the evening. The man laying in bed had been waiting all day for the doctor to arrive. The doctor had promised he’d be there first thing in the morning. But here it was, seven o’clock in the evening, and still no sight of him. He was anxious to hear the results of his surgery. He couldn’t eat. And he tossed and turned. The television irritated him. And he couldn’t concentrate enough to read. The surgical dressing tugged against his skin. And the wound of his surgery ached. And clearly the pain medication was beginning to wearing off.

Finally the surgeon shuffled through the door. He looked hurried and distracted, as though he had to be somewhere else. He wasn’t known for his bedside manner. His skills were tuned for the operating room. He barely lifted his eyes from the 3-ring binder that held his charts. He opened his mouth and began to speak. The patient heard words instead of whole sentences. Bits of sound, each delivering a crumb of dreaded, terrible information. "not as good as we’d hoped couldn’t get to all of the malignant tumor chemotherapy, possibly radiation not sure how long twenty percent live at least five years don’t worry." With that the doctor shuffled out of the man’s room off to see another patient. The man was left all alone in the room with only his own thoughts. You can imagine what they must have been, can’t you? “Cancer” “Five Years” “death” “Where is God?” “Does God even know what I’m going through?” “Does God even care what I’m going through?” Do those questions sound familiar to you? Are those questions you yourself have asked at the dark times in your life? I know I have. And it is because of the dark storms that periodically rage through our lives at times and the questions that these storms raise for us at those moments that we are tempted to look at our scripture passage this morning and interpret it as a word of “Comfort”. “If we have faith in Jesus” “He will calm all of our storms.” and that would be a wonderful sermon the hear wouldn’t it? But there’s only one problem, that’s not what the passage is telling us. We know this by this one fact. When Jesus finished silencing the storm the disciples were not comforted by his action. They were not joyful, happy or relieved. They were terrified.

And here is the clincher. Whereas before they were afraid of the storm afraid that they were about to die. Now they are terrified. Terrified of the one who calmed the storm, Jesus. So terrified that they cry out, “Who is this man?” You see, when the disciples got in that boat to cross that lake they had gotten in with Jesus the man. Jesus the servant of God. Jesus the messiah. But now having heard Jesus command the storm and the seas to “Shut Up, and Knock it off” and seen the wind and waves obey. Now, they’re not sure who it is that’s in this boat with them. But what they do know is what the Word of God has told them: “God alone has power over His creation”

Psalm 89:8-9

O LORD God Almighty, who is like you?

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