This week….

Riding Out Storms

FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Job 38:1-11

Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Mark 4:35-41

Prayer of the Day: O God of creation, eternal majesty, you preside over land and sea, sunshine and storm. By your strength pilot us, by your power preserve us, by your wisdom instruct us, and by your hand protect us, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Mark 4:38.

The ocean is often employed as a metaphor for trials and tribulations of life. Consider, for example, the old favorite “Jesus, Savior Pilot Me.” Here on Cape Cod those terrors are frequently anything but metaphoric. This week Michael Packard, a fifty-six year old lobster diver, suffered a broken leg after having been swallowed by one of our humpback whales. Thankfully, these gentle giants, that feed principally on plankton, have no taste for human flesh. Thus, after twenty seconds in the whale’s mouth, Mr. Packard was ejected just as a cyclist might spit out a fly. He is now qualified to be enrolled along with Jonah and Geppetto as one of the few people swallowed by a whale that lived to tell about it.

With the exception of our reading from Paul’s Second Letter to the church at Corinth, the lessons for this Sunday all speak in some fashion about the sea and its terrors. In language echoing Babylonian mythology, the Book of Job speaks of God’s triumph over the sea and God’s power that “proscribed bounds for it.” Job 38:10. The psalm recounts the terror of seagoing pilgrims caught in a storm. In our Gospel we find the disciples in a similar predicament crying out to Jesus, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” Mark 4:38. The ancient Israelites were not seafarers. They did not willingly take to the water. Only once in the Bible do we read about an Israelite taking a sea voyage. That story is recited in the Book of the aforementioned Jonah-and it did not end well.

Our love, fear and fascination with the sea is, I believe, grounded in what it tells us about ourselves. Read more

17 thoughts on “This week….

  1. I’m new to your blog. I like what your doing. The combination of spirituality, satire, humor and literature is great. I look forward to reading more.
    Best wishes,
    James

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  2. Rare is the Christian anymore who seeks to uphold Jesus’ teaching, the Beatitudes. Instead, they rattle sabers and clamor for war “in God’s name.” It’s why religion, especially Christianity, is losing numbers steadily and, likely soon, exponentially.

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  3. I am new to your blog. I found your recent post to be interesting. I do not believe that religion and politics belong together. What a unique idea that you can hear what anyone is saying if everyone is shouting and calling names.

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  4. I just found your letter to frank, what a great job in expressing what everyday Christian’s feel. Preaching war in jesus name is not why I gave my email or donations to any television church. Thank you for writing a letter that represents why we choice to attend church and read the teachings of Christ Jesus.

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