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They feared they were about to drown. Had I been in their shoes, ankle deep and rising in water, feeling their boat give way to an angry storm, I probably would have begun to think of loved ones, of the goodbyes I’d never hear. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38). It was perfectly human to fear death, pervasively human even (Hebrews 2:15).
Except for one human, who had been sleeping through the storm. He may have missed the natural disaster altogether, even as the water began to fill the boat and winds threatened to throw them overboard. Had any nap ever displayed more power? Had any sleep ever shined with as much beauty? He could rest, of course, because he trusted God perfectly. Indeed, as his men would soon discover, he was God. What might be lost on us today, though, is that he had to rest, because he was truly human like us. In fact, he was tired enough to sleep not just through a storm, but in a storm. He could put the seas to rest, and yet his friends still had to wake him.
Words - Peace - Be - Waves - Way
With three words, “Peace! Be still!” the waves gave way and the wind retreated. Imagine the disciples, in one moment frantically watching their lives pass before their eyes, and in the next witnessing the heavens suddenly wave their white flag of surrender. Confronted with his unparalleled power and manifest frailty, his Godness and his humanity, they asked what any of us should ask: “Who then is this?”
That terrible night at sea, while unmistakably magnificent, is eclipsed in our collective memory by another night, more than thirty years earlier. In Bethlehem a child was born, as millions of babies had been before him, and yet utterly and gloriously different. The Son...
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