Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 11: Year 1
“He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4: 39 and 40)
As one who ponders, I ponder about what “rebuking” language our Lord Jesus might have used to still the wind and the sea. Did the writers of our Gospel put human, regional words in the divine mouth of God Incarnate so as to make it more palatable for us? Remember that our Lord Jesus spoke in Aramaic. This was translated into Greek as originally written in our New Testament, and then later the Greek into Latin, and the Latin into the tongues of various peoples across the known world. How much was lost? How much was miss-translated? How much was added to make it more palatable?
Our Lord Jesus being fully God and fully human only has to wish it done, and it is done. Of all in creation, humanity is the only being that God attempts to reason with. We are the only ones who God tries to appeal to, to reckon with. And for us, and for our sakes, our Lord Jesus does indeed use our words when speaking directly to us. I’m still curious about how God addresses creation outside of humanity.
God could have made us as subservient as the wind and the sea and all others in creation. But obedience then would not have been our choice so much as a God-given instinct. But we have autonomy and in our autonomy a little piece of God dwells in us. God wants to see how that little piece of God in us makes us different from all else in creation, and hopefully, in a good and loving way.
That little piece of God in us is what we English speakers call faith. (I invite non English speakers to examine their own word for faith). Why then do we too often fear one another and other forms of existence in creation? We, all humanity, are connected through the divine Presence of God that dwells in us. And nothing, within or outside of humanity, can separate us from the love of God. We are God’s own, in this world, and with faith, in the next world as well. This is why our frustrated Lord Jesus asks, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Let us live to love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John