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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, March 9, 2018

Today’s Scripture 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)

Being asked to write a reflection on this passage took me back many years in my spiritual journey. Initially my understanding of God’s role in my life was that God was a perfect backup. Once I had tried my best in any circumstance and it didn’t “work” God would make all things right. This seemed adequate until I was in my early forties and my husband of twenty years died. I knew then that I needed a different relationship with God.

As I reread this passage the one image that I couldn’t ignore was that of Jesus sitting on the shore fully present and aware of what the disciples were experiencing. It made me think of the time I have wasted on being afraid by going it alone. “Let go—let god.” Just to be clear my faith allows me to move forward no matter the circumstances when I walk together with God. It doesn’t guarantee an easy journey.

I checked the dictionary for the definition if faith. The first definition is “unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence.” There were six other definitions including religion and the descriptive words “complete trust, confidence or reliance.” It is very clear that faith is a full time commitment.

As I continue my journey I am getting better at that commitment. Thanks be to God!

Loving and ever-present God, I am grateful for being blessed with a journey that far exceeds anything I could have imagined. Amen.

Written by Barbara Timberlake, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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