Saturday, January 1, 2011

Homily 19: Into the Calm (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea.... Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great clam." Matt. 8: 24, 26

Christ is the calm in the midst of the storm. This is easy to accept when His calm spreads over the storm itself. The real trick and test is to realize His calm while the storm continues to rage. "He was asleep" (vs. 24): that is His calm while the storm winds blow. His disciples misunderstood this: "Master, do you not care that we perish?" (Mark 4:38), and, of course, we do the same. We misread His peace as apathy all the time. We assume that if God really cared about what happened to us, then he would calm the tempest that threatens our lives. We never once stop to consider that if God is truly with us, truly "in the boat" with us, and yet is not fretting about the whirlwind about us, then why are we fretting? "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" (vs. 26). We thought that we knew our situation better than God did, but all of our wisdom was mere unbelief.

"The men marveled, saying, 'What manner of man is this...?'" (vs. 27). If there is calm in our life, its true benefit lies not in itself but in the One who brought it. The sudden moments of peace, when the winds finally die away, are meant to point us to Christ, the Prince of Peace. Every moment of evil is a chance to trust Him; ever moment of good is a chance to realize Him. In the dark, we cry, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him"; and in the light, we sing, "My Lord and my God!"

-Jon Vowell (c) 2011

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