REFLECTION FOR THIS WEEK
The Storm on the Lake
Some years ago I was enjoying a quiet outdoor dinner on a windless summer evening in an hotel on the shores of Lake Luzern in Switzerland. Suddenly ̶ and I mean suddenly ̶ the tranquility of the evening ceased: the flag shifted through 180 degrees, waves appeared on the lake, and table cloths became detached from their moorings. Ten minutes or so later, calm pervaded once more. The episode reminded me of the story which we shall hear in the gospel this coming Sunday, the storm on the Lake of Galilee.
Jesus and his friends were crossing the lake, a sudden storm blew, and, not surprisingly, the men were terrified: they were in a small boat, probably less than ten metres long, with a high risk of sinking. Jesus, apparently, managed to stay asleep during the storm but when the disciples woke him he commanded the storm to cease: I do not think this is the essential to the meaning of the story, for the storm would have passed quickly anyway.
Read further: ‘Why are you still afraid? Have you no faith?’ asks Jesus. What we are reading here is not just another nature miracle, but an affirmation from Jesus himself that faith is the stout sheet anchor saving us from the passing storms and vicissitudes of our lives. These storms are part and parcel of life: they will come and go as long as we live but a lively faith should help us to steady our own ship in difficult times and help us to perceive that calmer waters will inevitably follow the waves.
Deacon Douglas Macmillan
Collect for Third Sunday after Trinity
you have broken the tyranny of sin
and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts
whereby we call you Father:
give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,
that we and all creation may be brought
to the glorious liberty of the children of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.