June 19

Mark 4:35-38

“But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’” vs. 38

Mark’s little story raises a big question for a literalist reader. How could Jesus sleep through a windstorm that was swamping the boat? Answers for our question could vary–perhaps he was an introvert and had gotten exhausted with all the extroverting involved in ministry, and had collapsed like a preacher on a couch on Sunday afternoon. Of course Jesus’ nap isn’t the point of the story at all– Jesus has been telling parables for days, and in Mark’s hands the disciples are made the central characters in yet another parable. Only this story isn’t made up, it’s being lived out, and it has to do with faith in the time of great danger. The disciples’ question has probably been asked by us all at one time or another. “Lord, do you not care that we are perishing?” Most of the time life seems pretty okay, at the very least it’s predictable and we don’t have huge issues with our faith. But when the winds turn against us and we feel the crashing waves, we really like to know that our captain has control–at the very least we’d like to know that God cares. And at that moment it’s perfectly permissible to cry out, “Are you sleeping, Jesus?” It just might be that our cries will wake him up!

Thought for the Day: What do I do when I’m frightened and feeling alone?

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