St. Luke's Episcopal Church - Homily

                                                      Heidi Edson / 20 June, 2021

 

"Let us go across to the other side."  Jesus had told the disciples after a long day of speaking to a crowd of people.  Jesus doesn't tell his disciples why He wants to travel across the Galilean Sea near nighttime.  If they waited until the next day, their boat trip would have been safer for them.  Not only that, Jesus had already spent a good deal of time standing inside the boat with the crowd on the shore. 

 

Wouldn't Jesus, Himself, want a break from the boat?  Perhaps some food and rest for Him and the disciples would be a good idea before setting out into the waters at night?  But there seemed to be some urgency to Jesus' words.  Perhaps it was because the region of Galilee was a highly charged socio-political area of Israel.  Galilee was a major trade route between Egypt and Syria who would pass through by boat on the Galilean Sea. 

 

Geographically speaking, the Sea of Galilee was like a dividing line that kept the "insiders" at a distance from the "outsiders."  Also it is getting dark outside.  The night is approaching.  This is when the storms are more likely to come.  This time out at sea with Jesus and the disciples would be no different.  A mighty storm did indeed come!  The wind and the waves started crashing into the sides and inside their modest-sized boat. 

 

How could anyone sleep through all that?  The boat is being swamped by the waves and the wind!  Mark's Gospel records that Jesus was in the stern, asleep.  The disciples, however are far from peaceful!  They are wide awake and struggling to keep the boat afloat.  They do all this without Jesus' help.

 

Let's put ourselves in this story.  Because, as the modern-day community of Christ's disciples, we find ourselves right there inside the boat with Jesus as His disciples.  And we, like the first disciples, are doing battle with our own storms as well.  Our storm takes the form of the ongoing pandemic, the political divides and all the social and financial disparities we face today.      

The moment we chose to step inside the boat with Jesus (by virtue of our baptism), that's the moment we started "sailing in the dark" not knowing if we'd even make it to the other side.  We find ourselves in the boat because Jesus has called us to step inside- to have faith that God will lead us safely to the other side even when we cannot see our way forward.

 

The "other side" of the Sea where Jesus is taking us represents all our fears and hesitations about whom and what we will encounter on that other side.  The "other side" points out the truth about our own selves and our biases we'd rather not have to deal with. 

 

On the 24th of June, 1542, St. John of the Cross was born.  He was a 16th-century mystic and co-founder of the Carmelite Order.  He wrote a poem called the "Dark Night of the Soul."  It's a classic poem that describes how our soul needs to be detached from its dependence upon our five senses alone- that which we can see in our world (our sense of reason or rationality). 

 

St. John of the Cross' poem suggests that, if we relied less on our senses, then our soul could more easily embrace a purer faith in God.  Since God does not know fear as we humans do, our faith would overcome our fear.  This might explain why  Jesus chose to cross the Galilean Sea with His disciples at night.  Jesus wanted to instill faith in His disciples. 

 

The disciples wake Jesus up in that boat:  "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"  Jesus wakes up and calmly rebukes the wind and tells the sea, "Peace!  Be still!"  "Why are you afraid?" Jesus asks them.  "Have you still no faith?"  It's worth noting that Jesus didn't say, "There's nothing to be afraid of."  Storms in the sea are fearsome, especially at night when you can't see much of anything.

 

Sometimes, in a effort to comfort each other or our own selves, we say "Don't be afraid."  Parents will say this to their children who have encountered fear (bad dream, negative experience, etc.).  But there are things in life that really do cause us to be afraid.  Fear is real!  For the disciples in that boat fear was very real for them.  They knew of fellow fishermen who had succumbed to the storm's ravages and who died!   

 

How could Jesus so peacefully sleep in the stern of the boat with the raging storm batting that boat to and fro?  One word:  Faith!  Possessing faith doesn't eliminate the bad things we see or experience.  But faith does demand of us that we cross over the sea with Jesus to the other side where we must encounter the storms of our own lives and those of the world's in order to know what true life really is.

 

In all this, Jesus reminds us that the power of God is mightier than any wind and water that beats against us- that the love of God is deeper and more profound than our deepest darkness and fears.  So, we need to stay in that boat with Jesus.  Faith tells us that God will never leave our side- that God is journeying with us every inch of the way.

 

Jesus want us to step inside the boat at night and cross over the Sea where we will face our fears and biases; where we will confront the ones we deem as the "outsiders" who await us on that other side.  Jesus wants us to go there not because it's our job to change them.  Jesus wants us to go there to change us as Christ's disciples living in our troubled world today.      v

St. Luke's Episcopal Church - Homily

Heidi Edson / 20 June, 2021

 

"Let us go across to the other side."  Jesus had told the disciples after a long day of speaking to a crowd of people.  Jesus doesn't tell his disciples why He wants to travel across the Galilean Sea near nighttime.  If they waited until the next day, their boat trip would have been safer for them.  Not only that, Jesus had already spent a good deal of time standing inside the boat with the crowd on the shore. 

 

Wouldn't Jesus, Himself, want a break from the boat?  Perhaps some food and rest for Him and the disciples would be a good idea before setting out into the waters at night?  But there seemed to be some urgency to Jesus' words.  Perhaps it was because the region of Galilee was a highly charged socio-political area of Israel.  Galilee was a major trade route between Egypt and Syria who would pass through by boat on the Galilean Sea. 

 

Geographically speaking, the Sea of Galilee was like a dividing line that kept the "insiders" at a distance from the "outsiders."  Also it is getting dark outside.  The night is approaching.  This is when the storms are more likely to come.  This time out at sea with Jesus and the disciples would be no different.  A mighty storm did indeed come!  The wind and the waves started crashing into the sides and inside their modest-sized boat. 

 

How could anyone sleep through all that?  The boat is being swamped by the waves and the wind!  Mark's Gospel records that Jesus was in the stern, asleep.  The disciples, however are far from peaceful!  They are wide awake and struggling to keep the boat afloat.  They do all this without Jesus' help.

 

Let's put ourselves in this story.  Because, as the modern-day community of Christ's disciples, we find ourselves right there inside the boat with Jesus as His disciples.  And we, like the first disciples, are doing battle with our own storms as well.  Our storm takes the form of the ongoing pandemic, the political divides and all the social and financial disparities we face today.      

The moment we chose to step inside the boat with Jesus (by virtue of our baptism), that's the moment we started "sailing in the dark" not knowing if we'd even make it to the other side.  We find ourselves in the boat because Jesus has called us to step inside- to have faith that God will lead us safely to the other side even when we cannot see our way forward.

 

The "other side" of the Sea where Jesus is taking us represents all our fears and hesitations about whom and what we will encounter on that other side.  The "other side" points out the truth about our own selves and our biases we'd rather not have to deal with. 

 

On the 24th of June, 1542, St. John of the Cross was born.  He was a 16th-century mystic and co-founder of the Carmelite Order.  He wrote a poem called the "Dark Night of the Soul."  It's a classic poem that describes how our soul needs to be detached from its dependence upon our five senses alone- that which we can see in our world (our sense of reason or rationality). 

 

St. John of the Cross' poem suggests that, if we relied less on our senses, then our soul could more easily embrace a purer faith in God.  Since God does not know fear as we humans do, our faith would overcome our fear.  This might explain why  Jesus chose to cross the Galilean Sea with His disciples at night.  Jesus wanted to instill faith in His disciples. 

 

The disciples wake Jesus up in that boat:  "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"  Jesus wakes up and calmly rebukes the wind and tells the sea, "Peace!  Be still!"  "Why are you afraid?" Jesus asks them.  "Have you still no faith?"  It's worth noting that Jesus didn't say, "There's nothing to be afraid of."  Storms in the sea are fearsome, especially at night when you can't see much of anything.

 

Sometimes, in a effort to comfort each other or our own selves, we say "Don't be afraid."  Parents will say this to their children who have encountered fear (bad dream, negative experience, etc.).  But there are things in life that really do cause us to be afraid.  Fear is real!  For the disciples in that boat fear was very real for them.  They knew of fellow fishermen who had succumbed to the storm's ravages and who died!   

 

How could Jesus so peacefully sleep in the stern of the boat with the raging storm batting that boat to and fro?  One word:  Faith!  Possessing faith doesn't eliminate the bad things we see or experience.  But faith does demand of us that we cross over the sea with Jesus to the other side where we must encounter the storms of our own lives and those of the world's in order to know what true life really is.

 

In all this, Jesus reminds us that the power of God is mightier than any wind and water that beats against us- that the love of God is deeper and more profound than our deepest darkness and fears.  So, we need to stay in that boat with Jesus.  Faith tells us that God will never leave our side- that God is journeying with us every inch of the way.

 

Jesus want us to step inside the boat at night and cross over the Sea where we will face our fears and biases; where we will confront the ones we deem as the "outsiders" who await us on that other side.  Jesus wants us to go there not because it's our job to change them.  Jesus wants us to go there to change us as Christ's disciples living in our troubled world today.      

St. Luke's Episcopal Church - Homily

Heidi Edson / 20 June, 2021

 

"Let us go across to the other side."  Jesus had told the disciples after a long day of speaking to a crowd of people.  Jesus doesn't tell his disciples why He wants to travel across the Galilean Sea near nighttime.  If they waited until the next day, their boat trip would have been safer for them.  Not only that, Jesus had already spent a good deal of time standing inside the boat with the crowd on the shore. 

 

Wouldn't Jesus, Himself, want a break from the boat?  Perhaps some food and rest for Him and the disciples would be a good idea before setting out into the waters at night?  But there seemed to be some urgency to Jesus' words.  Perhaps it was because the region of Galilee was a highly charged socio-political area of Israel.  Galilee was a major trade route between Egypt and Syria who would pass through by boat on the Galilean Sea. 

 

Geographically speaking, the Sea of Galilee was like a dividing line that kept the "insiders" at a distance from the "outsiders."  Also it is getting dark outside.  The night is approaching.  This is when the storms are more likely to come.  This time out at sea with Jesus and the disciples would be no different.  A mighty storm did indeed come!  The wind and the waves started crashing into the sides and inside their modest-sized boat. 

 

How could anyone sleep through all that?  The boat is being swamped by the waves and the wind!  Mark's Gospel records that Jesus was in the stern, asleep.  The disciples, however are far from peaceful!  They are wide awake and struggling to keep the boat afloat.  They do all this without Jesus' help.

 

Let's put ourselves in this story.  Because, as the modern-day community of Christ's disciples, we find ourselves right there inside the boat with Jesus as His disciples.  And we, like the first disciples, are doing battle with our own storms as well.  Our storm takes the form of the ongoing pandemic, the political divides and all the social and financial disparities we face today.      

The moment we chose to step inside the boat with Jesus (by virtue of our baptism), that's the moment we started "sailing in the dark" not knowing if we'd even make it to the other side.  We find ourselves in the boat because Jesus has called us to step inside- to have faith that God will lead us safely to the other side even when we cannot see our way forward.

 

The "other side" of the Sea where Jesus is taking us represents all our fears and hesitations about whom and what we will encounter on that other side.  The "other side" points out the truth about our own selves and our biases we'd rather not have to deal with. 

 

On the 24th of June, 1542, St. John of the Cross was born.  He was a 16th-century mystic and co-founder of the Carmelite Order.  He wrote a poem called the "Dark Night of the Soul."  It's a classic poem that describes how our soul needs to be detached from its dependence upon our five senses alone- that which we can see in our world (our sense of reason or rationality). 

 

St. John of the Cross' poem suggests that, if we relied less on our senses, then our soul could more easily embrace a purer faith in God.  Since God does not know fear as we humans do, our faith would overcome our fear.  This might explain why  Jesus chose to cross the Galilean Sea with His disciples at night.  Jesus wanted to instill faith in His disciples. 

 

The disciples wake Jesus up in that boat:  "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"  Jesus wakes up and calmly rebukes the wind and tells the sea, "Peace!  Be still!"  "Why are you afraid?" Jesus asks them.  "Have you still no faith?"  It's worth noting that Jesus didn't say, "There's nothing to be afraid of."  Storms in the sea are fearsome, especially at night when you can't see much of anything.

 

Sometimes, in a effort to comfort each other or our own selves, we say "Don't be afraid."  Parents will say this to their children who have encountered fear (bad dream, negative experience, etc.).  But there are things in life that really do cause us to be afraid.  Fear is real!  For the disciples in that boat fear was very real for them.  They knew of fellow fishermen who had succumbed to the storm's ravages and who died!   

 

How could Jesus so peacefully sleep in the stern of the boat with the raging storm batting that boat to and fro?  One word:  Faith!  Possessing faith doesn't eliminate the bad things we see or experience.  But faith does demand of us that we cross over the sea with Jesus to the other side where we must encounter the storms of our own lives and those of the world's in order to know what true life really is.

 

In all this, Jesus reminds us that the power of God is mightier than any wind and water that beats against us- that the love of God is deeper and more profound than our deepest darkness and fears.  So, we need to stay in that boat with Jesus.  Faith tells us that God will never leave our side- that God is journeying with us every inch of the way.

 

Jesus want us to step inside the boat at night and cross over the Sea where we will face our fears and biases; where we will confront the ones we deem as the "outsiders" who await us on that other side.  Jesus wants us to go there not because it's our job to change them.  Jesus wants us to go there to change us as Christ's disciples living in our troubled world today.      

St. Luke's Episcopal Church - Homily

Heidi Edson / 20 June, 2021

 

"Let us go across to the other side."  Jesus had told the disciples after a long day of speaking to a crowd of people.  Jesus doesn't tell his disciples why He wants to travel across the Galilean Sea near nighttime.  If they waited until the next day, their boat trip would have been safer for them.  Not only that, Jesus had already spent a good deal of time standing inside the boat with the crowd on the shore. 

 

Wouldn't Jesus, Himself, want a break from the boat?  Perhaps some food and rest for Him and the disciples would be a good idea before setting out into the waters at night?  But there seemed to be some urgency to Jesus' words.  Perhaps it was because the region of Galilee was a highly charged socio-political area of Israel.  Galilee was a major trade route between Egypt and Syria who would pass through by boat on the Galilean Sea. 

 

Geographically speaking, the Sea of Galilee was like a dividing line that kept the "insiders" at a distance from the "outsiders."  Also it is getting dark outside.  The night is approaching.  This is when the storms are more likely to come.  This time out at sea with Jesus and the disciples would be no different.  A mighty storm did indeed come!  The wind and the waves started crashing into the sides and inside their modest-sized boat. 

 

How could anyone sleep through all that?  The boat is being swamped by the waves and the wind!  Mark's Gospel records that Jesus was in the stern, asleep.  The disciples, however are far from peaceful!  They are wide awake and struggling to keep the boat afloat.  They do all this without Jesus' help.

 

Let's put ourselves in this story.  Because, as the modern-day community of Christ's disciples, we find ourselves right there inside the boat with Jesus as His disciples.  And we, like the first disciples, are doing battle with our own storms as well.  Our storm takes the form of the ongoing pandemic, the political divides and all the social and financial disparities we face today.      

The moment we chose to step inside the boat with Jesus (by virtue of our baptism), that's the moment we started "sailing in the dark" not knowing if we'd even make it to the other side.  We find ourselves in the boat because Jesus has called us to step inside- to have faith that God will lead us safely to the other side even when we cannot see our way forward.

 

The "other side" of the Sea where Jesus is taking us represents all our fears and hesitations about whom and what we will encounter on that other side.  The "other side" points out the truth about our own selves and our biases we'd rather not have to deal with. 

 

On the 24th of June, 1542, St. John of the Cross was born.  He was a 16th-century mystic and co-founder of the Carmelite Order.  He wrote a poem called the "Dark Night of the Soul."  It's a classic poem that describes how our soul needs to be detached from its dependence upon our five senses alone- that which we can see in our world (our sense of reason or rationality). 

 

St. John of the Cross' poem suggests that, if we relied less on our senses, then our soul could more easily embrace a purer faith in God.  Since God does not know fear as we humans do, our faith would overcome our fear.  This might explain why  Jesus chose to cross the Galilean Sea with His disciples at night.  Jesus wanted to instill faith in His disciples. 

 

The disciples wake Jesus up in that boat:  "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"  Jesus wakes up and calmly rebukes the wind and tells the sea, "Peace!  Be still!"  "Why are you afraid?" Jesus asks them.  "Have you still no faith?"  It's worth noting that Jesus didn't say, "There's nothing to be afraid of."  Storms in the sea are fearsome, especially at night when you can't see much of anything.

 

Sometimes, in a effort to comfort each other or our own selves, we say "Don't be afraid."  Parents will say this to their children who have encountered fear (bad dream, negative experience, etc.).  But there are things in life that really do cause us to be afraid.  Fear is real!  For the disciples in that boat fear was very real for them.  They knew of fellow fishermen who had succumbed to the storm's ravages and who died!   

 

How could Jesus so peacefully sleep in the stern of the boat with the raging storm batting that boat to and fro?  One word:  Faith!  Possessing faith doesn't eliminate the bad things we see or experience.  But faith does demand of us that we cross over the sea with Jesus to the other side where we must encounter the storms of our own lives and those of the world's in order to know what true life really is.

 

In all this, Jesus reminds us that the power of God is mightier than any wind and water that beats against us- that the love of God is deeper and more profound than our deepest darkness and fears.  So, we need to stay in that boat with Jesus.  Faith tells us that God will never leave our side- that God is journeying with us every inch of the way.

 

Jesus want us to step inside the boat at night and cross over the Sea where we will face our fears and biases; where we will confront the ones we deem as the "outsiders" who await us on that other side.  Jesus wants us to go there not because it's our job to change them.  Jesus wants us to go there to change us as Christ's disciples living in our troubled world today.