Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Alone at sea... asleep in the boat

I see that I haven't blogged for quite some time. June has found me officiating at four weddings, getting ready (myself rather than our candidates) for our Confirmation on Monday of this week, and enjoying a Summer Fair. All this at the same time as my younger son has been taking GCSE examinations - thankfully finished today, and we've just been out to celebrate.

Annoyingly I didn't have my camera to hand when group shots of the Confirmation were taken - I hope to borrow some picures soon. And the picture above is the only one I took at the Summer Fair - during a performance by the Jane Robson Theatre Group in church.

But generally we've been having a good time. The sun has been shining again, we're hoping that landscaping work around the Hall and below the Car Park will soon be complete. And thoughts are turning towards the holidays (a week in Italy booked so far).

On Sundays we're working our way through St. Mark's Gospel - this week with Jesus and the disciples on the Sea of Galilee. This is what I had to say in my homily. If you don't want to click on the link here's an excerpt:

... the crucial question: to ask who Jesus is for us. To be able to recognise that he is at the centre of the storm with us. That we are not alone. But we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have times of sheer desperation. Jesus is sleeping in the stern of the boat. It’s not the first thought of the disciples that they’ve got him with them. Their first thought is that Jesus is asleep. They feel on their own, and this man is doing nothing for them. They feel on their own, even though other people must be near to hand. St. Mark tells us that as they set out across the Lake, “Other boats were with him.” But there’s no other reference to the people in these boats. When we are in the midst of the storm, perhaps we forget the peril that other people are in – “this is my disaster, and I’m going to suffer it all myself.” When we are in the midst of the storm, perhaps we forget that there are other people who might be able to help us. But the disciples are so pre-occupied with danger that they forget anything other than their own fight for survival on that one tiny boat. Nothing else and no one else matters. It’s as though nothing else in the world seems to exist.

And perhaps that’s how life is for us when we know that we are in trouble. All we can do when things are extreme is be conscious of the peril. So easily we feel that we’re on our own. We don’t care that other people may have their problems, because nothing can match mine. We don’t think that anyone else can help, because my problems are so far beyond my being able to deal with them that we don’t believe anyone can help us find a solution. And if we call on God, it might be only to find that he seems to be asleep.

It’s this story that tells us that it’s not necessarily so...

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