Panic and Peace

2021-06-20 – Year B – Proper 7 – The Rev. Canon Christopher Klukas
Job 38:1-11, 16-18; Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Mark 4:35-41

  • Panic – Chicken Run – The lead hen, Ginger, has just been snatched by the farmer to be put into the new chicken pie machine. Another older hen speaks to the others and says, “We mustn’t panic. We mustn’t panic.” Everyone screams.
  • Panic is often our response in the event of a threat. Remember the toilet paper shortage of 2020 or the gas shortage a few weeks ago.
  • Everyone feels the need to stand up for him or herself, to guard against danger, to make sure that they are not the one left with the empty roll of toilet paper.
  • It is certainly good to be prepared, especially now that we are in hurricane season, but panic and anxiety can get exhausting.

Jesus is God

  • Job – a man with disaster all around him, he sought to understand why.
    • We don’t always get to understand the why of our circumstances. But we can trust that God is righteous and powerful.
    • Job 38:4 – “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”
    • Job 38:8-11 – The Lord created the sea and gave in boundaries.
  • Many stories in the OT demonstrate God’s power over the waters. The great flood, the parting of the red sea, springs of water in the desert, Jonah and the storm.
  • The story of Jesus calming the storm is significant because no other man has ever been able to command the weather!
    • Moses lifted up his staff and his hand over the red sea, but there was no doubt that it was God who parted the waters (Exodus 14:21)
    • Jesus had personal authority over the wind and waves.
  • This is a clear indication that Jesus is not “just a man” but God in flesh.
  • Knowing that Jesus is God and that he has power over wind and waves has some significant implications for our own lives.

Jesus is Lord of our Circumstances

  • Psalm 107 includes testimony after testimony of God’s faithfulness.
    • We only read the portion about those delivered from storms (vv. 28-30).
  • There is great power in testimonies like these because they bring to remembrance concrete examples of God’s faithfulness.
    • Story of leaving Pitcairn. We were living in a house we couldn’t afford which was on the opposite side of the city from my new job. We only had one car.
    • Friends loaned us a car for a few months. Then some other friends loaned us a car over the summer and eventually gave it to us. We were able to save enough to have parts of our house painted. It eventually sold shortly after Hannah was born. A difficult season, but God brought us through it.
  • What has been the biggest struggle of your life? Looking back, how was God faithful to bring you through that circumstance?

Jesus is Lord of Peace

  • Mark 4:40-41 – The fear of the disciples
    • Afraid of the storm – It had the power to take their lives.
    • Afraid of Jesus who had power over the storm
      • Why afraid of Jesus? Maybe he would use that power against them!
      • Many are afraid of God, but God is for us. 2 Corinthians 5:19.
  • Jesus’ word to the storm is “Peace, be still” but this is his desire for us too.
    • “What if what they say is true? What if You fed five thousand? What if You calmed the sea? Can You calm me?”
    • How often do we get anxious about our lives? Anxiety and depression have both gone through the roof in recent years.
    • There were times in that difficult season when I felt anxious. There have been plenty of times since when I have been anxious.
      • Dwelling on my circumstances tends to make me more anxious, but taking my fears to the Lord in prayer usually brings me peace.
  • Psalm 45:1-3 – God is our refuge and strength, we need not fear even in the face of trouble

Ambassadors for Christ

  • If we have found peace with God and peace in God, wouldn’t we want others to have that peace too?
  • 2 Corinthians 5:19c-20 – Ambassadors for Christ.

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