On the Sea of Galilee, fierce gales often seem to come out of nowhere--and Christ’s disciples were caught in a humdinger. With muscles ready to tear and hearts ready to explode, they fought the headwind all night long. Yet, in the hours just before sunrise, they still hadn’t managed to cross the lake. All that hard work with nothing to show for it.
Sound familiar? We vacuum, dust, and do the laundry, and days later we have to do it all over again. We clear our desk of projects at work, only to be rewarded with a bigger pile of projects. We fix the ATV, but then the chainsaw won’t start. Not good, because last night’s high winds knocked down some trees that are blocking the driveway.
We strain at the oars with the wind against us! We grow weary. Maybe we’re ready to give up! Does that describe you? Then drink in comfort from seeing what Jesus did for his disciples on the Sea of Galilee!
When Jesus saw them working so hard, yet getting nowhere, what did he do? Ignore them, stay on shore and play and win yet another perfect hand of Solitaire? No! He came to his disciples, walked across the water, quieted their fears, stepped into their boat, and the wind completely faded away. Jesus helped his disciples, even though that meant he had to do the impossible.
Jesus has done the impossible for us, too! He came to Bethlehem’s stable, even though that meant being born of a virgin. He weathered adolescence as the only perfect teen our world has ever witnessed. As an adult, he preached, taught, healed, cared, worked long-hard days and often had little to show for it. (John 6:66) Yet he never grew bitter. He never gave up. He never once faltered. Then, even though no fault could be found in him (Mark 14:55-59, John 19:4), Jesus went to the cross and died. There he did what no one else could. He shouldered and paid for in full (It is finished!) the guilt of the human race. Your guilt and mine, included. Three days later Jesus did the impossible yet again. He rose from the dead!
Centuries later, Jesus stepped into our lives through baptism. Why? Because when we’re stuck in our storms, he wants us to hear, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”
Privileged to serve,
Rev. Glenn Schwanke