“They All Saw Him”
Let’s pray… Rev. Stuart C. Buisch
Did you ever think about Moses covering his face with a mask? Its right there in Exodus. Being in God’s presence made him glow so he put a veil on his face. Life in the desert probably didn’t make it that much of a deal to cover your face. In the heat, in the wind and sandstorms faces were often covered. So, it seems quite different when you are out on a lake, the wind is blowing, its dark except for moon light and star light which perhaps is blocked in this wind storm, it can be quite frightening not being able to see through the veil of dark. The inability to distinguish the face of Christ over the waves and darkness makes sense. A different kind of fear than the folk in front of Moses’ shining face.
For some reason Mark thinks Jesus was intending to walk on by. Was he hoping to not be seen? Was he giving them an opportunity to trust God in a difficult moment? Why is it so different trusting God in a challenging time? In the midst of a conflict, especially if you know of the conflict but there is nothing you can do about it. The disagreement is being played out in another group. Even though we are great at triangulating – getting involved in issues that are not ours, seldom does good come out of them. People who need rescuing often refuse to change their lives with or without the rescue. What were the disciples going to do in the storm? They were rowing but the head wind was against them.
Each of us has times in our lives when things are not going as planned. Some of it we see but we are not in the middle of. Sure, advocacy is important when handled well. But the bottom line in every moment of our lives, in every situation we find our lives and the lives of those around us in is, how do we respond? We need to know that the Spirit of Christ Jesus is passing by – perhaps looking like he is headed elsewhere but clearly present for us. Every moment of our lives Jesus’ Spirit is close as ever it could be. Because Christ is near, fear is never helpful to any situation. Sure, we don’t need to be foolish in danger but it is interesting that those who work in situations with people (often women or children) who are at risk have found a new technique, a new approach of distracting from the situation can be most helpful. It breaks the power of the perpetrator and sets the victim into a freeing situation. So, can we offer our fear to God, to the Spirit that is always near? Can we invite an awareness personally into our thinking that God is with us? Could God give us courage to be distractors? Is Jesus a distraction in the midst of the disciple’s storm? I think so but so much more. Jesus is proclaiming his presence and the presence they have within their souls that helps whether he is a foot away in the boat or ten yards away on a stormy sea.
Jesus’ presence changes the perspective of what we are in the midst of. But Mark says something else that is quite curious. “They did not understand about the loaves.” What should be understood about the loaves? In any overwhelming situation: a crowd of hungry people, being in a boat in a storm, twelve years of bleeding, a child dying, God is with us. That doesn’t mean that the problem is over, it means if we accept God’s presence and listen to God’s wisdom in the quietness of our hearts, we can get through it to another side. We have what we need to meet the challenge in front of us. We need to surrender our human bafflement and accept that God is able.
At the shore the not-yet disciples, who recognized Jesus were immediately around wanting what ever Jesus could give them. They didn’t need his words, his touch, it was enough to reach out and get a touch of his garment’s hem. They knew enough of who he was to believe that his presence could make a difference in their lives and he did. Everyone who touched was healed.
Why is that? Did they come expecting, believing that Jesus could do it? Did they want it bad enough that they weren’t embarrassed about their need? Did they want something different in their lives?
Faith is discontent with the status quo. Faith looks for more. Faith is open to something different in any form it takes. Faith understands that things will change, will need to change.
So maybe the question before us today is will we see Jesus? Can we see Jesus? Are we looking or will he simply pass by to get to those who are looking?
But Jesus identifies himself. His presence and his voice speak peace and stillness into any situation. Nervous, over reaction doesn’t accomplish anything in particular except of course ulcers, and countless other destructive bodily responses.
Moses learned that being with God changed his appearance. Today we need to learn and live in the presence of Christ so that others will see this life changing Christ and receive him. In the name of Christ’s Parent, Christ our savior and the Spirit of Christ Jesus, amen.
Cosmic Creator, open our eyes to the bigger picture…. Life Redeeming Jesus, break the bonds that bind us… Spirit of the Loving Christ, lift the veils from our faces and eyes…