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Friday, February 1, 2013

Today’s Reading | Mark 6:47–56

When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed. (NRSV)


It was a big day. The disciples had just come back from their mission, casting out demons, healing the sick, and they gathered around Jesus. “I cast out demons! I healed the sick!” And Jesus said “Nice job, but look—there are 5,000 people here. Give them something to eat.” And all these guys, who had just been going on about what they did, said “We can’t do anything.” So Jesus told them to pass out what they had and wow, it was enough. But they didn’t get it.

So that evening Jesus said. “Get in the boat. I’ll meet you on the other side.” Now, these guys, fishermen, knew boats, so they jumped in, cast off, rowed with all their might, and proceeded to get nowhere. And of course, Jesus saw this and “he came toward them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by.”

Think about that for a minute. He sent them off in the evening, these twelve strong men, and by morning they have made no progress. So he walked out to them—not to help, but to pass them by.

“Hey, Peter, John, James! Nice day, huh? A bit windy, is it? Well, catch you later!”

That’s right—he was messing with them.

But they, of course, freaked out, and as usual Jesus had to calm them down. He got in the boat, the wind died down, and off they went . . . missing the lesson of the loaves, missing the lesson of the wind, missing the whole point—that whatever they had accomplished was not due to their effort, but to the power of God inhabiting their effort.

Something to remember when we feel like we are rowing against the wind . . .


Lord, you always do all the heavy lifting. Please help make up my deficiencies, and remind me that I am an instrument of your work. Amen.

Written by Rob Koon, Fine Arts Coordinator

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