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Strength of Faith

A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him

As mentioned last week, over the months of Ordinary Time ahead, a time dedicated to growth, we will focus on how we live out the Christian faith, how we walk in Strength of Faith. Remember, we are focusing on our Strength of Faith.

The disciples are in the boat, we all know the story, they are afraid in the storm and Jesus wakes up, calms the storm, and asks them about the strength of their faith.

Obviously, Jesus, perfect God and man had faith, He was sleeping through the storm. He was confident that amid the storm, faith, and His Father, would see Him through. He had the same faith confronting torture, the cross, death, and the grave.

It does not really surprise us does it? Jesus lived in strength of faith, the disciples questioned and feared, they were at least, at that time, weak in their faith. 

But, what about us now? How does this storm experience relate to us, here in the 21st Century, not crossing many lakes or rivers in a boat? How about us in secure homes with GFI plugs and grounded electrical systems, and other safety and security measures?

Perhaps we do not fear storms, but the analogy of storms works because is speaks about all the other stresses we face. We can go to Jesus about those. We can say, Lord, don’t You care that I am perishing? But, that is not really the point Jesus is making in His gospel. It is not the lesson the Lord is impressing on us. Rather, bottom line, it is about strength of faith. It is Jesus asking us: Where’s your faith. “Why are you terrified?”

The question before us is whether we have the strength of faith to stand in the storm, to be the leader when others are running and hiding, to live the gospel in the face of evil and persecution. To hope when all is hopeless.

We have examples around us. Those men in the boat went on profess Jesus with strength and power across the world. We have the examples of our own fathers, godfathers, grandfathers, uncles, and the other special men in our lives who not only protected us but longed for us to learn the lessons necessary to be strong.

We have the example of all those who with strong faith fought the evil of slavery, who prayed in watch parties for freedom and who with us continue to this very day to stand up to inequality, the endemic sin of prejudice, and the inherent inequality still plaguing us.

We are called upon this very day to come forward, to walk through those doors, to appear here in this church, to say no to fear and raise up the holy and awesome name of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We are called to grow in faith, hope, and love so that fear may be removed from us and so we may stand in strength of faith! With strong faith, the power of our Father will see us through.