Just An Ordinary Day 071112
The gospel selection from Mark 6 today reads as though nothing special happened. But in the middle of today’s gospel is this:
48When 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.
This reads as if nothing special had occurred as if ‘some decided to go by sea, others decided to walk’. One idea that occurs is that Jesus was not particularly concerned about demonstrating ‘tricks’ and ‘magic’ to the disciples or to the crowds of followers.
The passage is a little confusing to me, because Jesus sent to the disciples across the lake to Bethsaida, but the gospel verse (above) says Jesus came to the struggling boat full of disciples, early in the morning? For comparison other translations clarify that when Jesus came to the boat, walking on water, it was about 3:00 a.m. (about the 4th watch, between 3:00 am and 6:00 am). Somehow, I was troubled that the disciples had been struggling in the boat all night, and it was nearly all night before Jesus came to them.
Jesus had sent the disciples ahead, and stayed on land to pray alone, then intended to catch up with the disciples by walking across the Sea of Galilee. Mark, and we, are talking about this as if an everyday occurrence. And it is.
Everyday, in some way, I see my life on earth as if I were caught in the storm. There are busy things to do, and I have to keep pulling against my oars, trying to prevail against the wind. But Jesus arrives, calmness prevails, and the sea is calm. (this metaphor is my invention, however. The Gospel of Mark tells the story matter-of-factly, as do all four of the gospel stories.
Just before these verses, Jesus had fed the 5,000, and the last sentence of today’s gospel, Mark 6:52 says: 52for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened. Two miracles in a row, and their response was to harden their hearts? It was as difficult for them to understand what was going on with Jesus, as hard as it is for us. In rtesponse, they hardened their hearts. May we live today without this happening to us.
Pray for peace
Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
Pray with us!
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.
Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.
1Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed,
2O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come.
3When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions.
4Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.
5By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.
6By your strength you established the mountains; you are girded with might.
7You silence the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.
8Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
9You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it.
10You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.
11You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,
13the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
10When King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, 2he became greatly frightened, because Gibeon was a large city, like one of the royal cities, and was larger than Ai, and all its men were warriors. 3So King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem sent a message to King Hoham of Hebron, to King Piram of Jarmuth, to King Japhia of Lachish, and to King Debir of Eglon, saying, 4“Come up and help me, and let us attack Gibeon; for it has made peace with Joshua and with the Israelites.” 5Then the five kings of the Amorites—the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon—gathered their forces, and went up with all their armies and camped against Gibeon, and made war against it. 6And the Gibeonites sent to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, saying, “Do not abandon your servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us; for all the kings of the Amorites who live in the hill country are gathered against us.”
7So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the fighting force with him, all the mighty warriors. 8The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have handed them over to you; not one of them shall stand before you.” 9So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal. 10And the Lord threw them into a panic before Israel, who inflicted a great slaughter on them at Gibeon, chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11As they fled before Israel, while they were going down the slope of Beth-horon, the Lord threw down huge stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died because of the hailstones than the Israelites killed with the sword. 12On the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the Lord; and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.” 13And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in mid-heaven, and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 14There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded a human voice; for the Lord fought for Israel.
45Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
47When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48When 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. 49But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” 51Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Jesus Prays for His Disciples (vineandbranchworldministries.com)
- Wednesday (July 11): “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
- “Jesus gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out” (worryisuseless.wordpress.com)
- Prayers for the Earth 062812 (mennonitepreacher.wordpress.com)