[The Gospel of Mark \ Jesus Calms the Storm]
You are a disciple of Jesus. Every sense is full of the sea. The waves roar, filling every corner of your head, crowding out all rational thought. They crash onto the deck of your flimsy fishing boat, salt stings your eyes, further obscuring a view already dominated by water.
You’re knocked off your feet, winded, and for a moment time stands still. The small number of notable events of your life flash before your eyes. Trying to find meaning to anchor your thoughts, your mind wanders to the ancient scriptures and stories that define your understanding of the world…
<< Rewind << [Genesis \ Creation]
In the beginning the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. From before time itself, God’s presence and power tied up in this mysterious image – all existence an endless expanse of water – the great unknown.
>> Fast forward >> [Genesis \ Noah and the Flood]
Oceans arise from nowhere in sun-parched lands. A broken humanity finally yields to judgment from a holy, all-powerful God. A flood to end all floods cleanses the earth of all corruption and filth, ending depravity and injustice. One man and his family continue to trust in their God, taking refuge in an ark, and battered by the storms eventually find dry land and live to hear fresh promises.
>> Fast forward >> [Exodus \ The Great Escape]
A multitude of people, whose very existence is a fulfilment of a promise, are enslaved. Their God intervenes and releases them from slavery. They’re pursued into the waters of the Red Sea, which parts to open up the way to the Promised Land, and a nation – your nation – is born. They pass through from death into new life. Behind them the oppressors are scattered as the waves crash down upon them – more powerful even than the armies of Empire.
>> Fast forward >> [Jonah \ In the Belly of the Whale]
Jonah, a man called by God to be a messenger of new hope rebels and flees across the sea. A storm rises from the deep, and the man is sacrificed, thrown overboard to save his fellow travellers. He lies lifeless in the belly of a whale. Three days later Jonah is revived, raised to new life. He turns around and travels back to his God-given path to complete his mission.
>> Fast forward >> [The Gospel of Mark \ Jesus Calms the Storm]
You are a disciple of Jesus. You come back to your senses, head spinning with these images from history, encoded in your DNA. Your identity is tied up in the land, and yet always on the periphery there’s the sea. Deep and mighty waters, beautifully still one moment, all consuming the next. The clamour of the surrounding storm rises to a new crescendo.
And then before you stands Jesus. Through all the storm he had been sleeping, but now he stands tall. The waves continue to crash around him, until he speaks above all the noise: “Quiet! Be still!” And stillness falls all around. The waves dissipate, for a moment your ears continue to ring, and then there’s silence.
Who is this man who has control even over the sea; who stands equal to the judgment, justice, cleansing, mysterious forces of the water; who walks the earth, gathering people to him, declaring the dramatic beginning of a new age?
Greater than the power of the oceans, greater than any storm that this world can muster, equal to God himself: his name is Jesus.