Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer NT Reflections: Proper 7 (B)

Discussion Leader: Erin Jean Warde, Seminary of the Southwest

“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?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’” (Mark 4: 38-40)

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

In this pericope from 2 Corinthians, Paul offers his defense, and thus urges readers to recognize a world that is a new creation, because of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Paul catalogues the hardships of the time, and offers the virtues that make such hardships dissolve in the light of the cross. Paul places his own pain in the light of the cross, to bring about the day of salvation, and a world newly created and ordered toward God. Paul pleads that readers may recognize that he and his fellow servants of Christ come only to offer compassion and new life, which they have been offered through a life dedicated to worshiping Christ.

Mark 4:35-41

In this gospel reading, Jesus shows the disciples his human and earthly power. Jesus has built relationships with the disciples, such that they accept his invitation to go to the other side. The disciples even took him “just as he was.” Though Jesus literally takes them to the other side of the waters, it would seem that he spiritually takes them into the deep waters of understanding his own identity. They took him just as he was, but only after this experience, do they know the blessings and risks of who he is. The disciples knew Jesus to be a teacher and to be a friend, but in this crossing they know that Jesus can bring order out of chaos, and that he is truly divine.

Perhaps a quote by Edward Teller may capture an element of today’s lessons and the questions posed,

“When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.”

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