Reflections and Prayers for 3rd Sunday after Trinity - 20th June
Hymn - "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind"
This week's readings can be found here Mark 4.35-41
Reflection 3rd Sunday of Trinity Mark 4:35-41
If you look on a map of Israel you will see that the Sea of Galilee is surrounded by hills on three sides and the other side can act as a funnel for winds. One minute the lake is like a mill pond and the next minute the water is very choppy and rough. Now we also need to remember that a lot of the disciples were seasoned fisherman and knew the lie of the land. The disciples were worried, water was coming into the boat it would be all hands-on deck so to speak, they needed everyone helping otherwise the boat would sink and they would be in real trouble and what was Jesus doing, sleeping! Why wasn’t Jesus worried, how could he sleep at a time like this, they knew he had been very busy all day and would have been tired, but they felt that they were all tired and they were not sleeping through this disaster. Do something the disciples shouted, a real cry from the heart. They needed an extra pair of hands after all, to help bail out the boat. What they actually got was something completely different. Jesus quietened the storm.
For many of us, there are times when we feel that Jesus is asleep, he hasn’t heard us and we are facing some really tough challenges, we feel that Jesus isn’t listening. However, we can’t always expect the mighty storm to be quietened and that we need to remember and not miss that “still small voice of calm” and that Jesus is with us always.
The words of the hymn by John Greenleaf Whittier “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” has a very calming effect on me and I hope on you too:
Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways! Re-clothe us in our rightful mind, in purer lives thy service find, in deeper reverence, praise. In simple trust like theirs who heard, beside the Syrian sea, the gracious calling of the Lord, let us, like them, without a word, rise up and follow thee. O Sabbath rest by Galilee! O calm of hills above, where Jesus knelt to share with thee the silence of eternity interpreted by love! Drop thy still dews of quietness, till all our strivings cease; take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of our desire thy coolness and thy balm; let sense be dumb, let flesh retire; speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire, O still, small voice of calm.
Sweet Jesus, talking his melancholy madness, stood up in the boat and the sea lay down, silky and sorry. So everybody was saved that night. But you know how it is
when something different crosses the threshold — the uncles mutter together,
the women walk away, the young brother begins to sharpen his knife. Nobody knows what the soul is.
It comes and goes like the wind over the water — sometimes, for days, you don't think of it.
Maybe, after the sermon, after the multitude was fed, one or two of them felt the soul slip forth like a tremor of pure sunlight before exhaustion, that wants to swallow everything, gripped their bones and left them
miserable and sleepy, as they are now, forgetting how the wind tore at the sails before he rose and talked to it —
tender and luminous and demanding as he always was — a thousand times more frightening than the killer sea.
To Pray for
Vunerable children who need care, love and a stable home.
For those living in Nepal which has been battered with severe flooding.
All Fathers this Father's Day, Sunday 20th June.