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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sudden Squalls

The Sea of Galilee is prone to sudden squalls, roiling up out of nowhere. When I was there last month, the water was steely grey and choppy, but fortunately for us, while we were out on it there was no dramatic deterioration of the weather. I’m not great on boats in bad weather. Sailing off the west coast of Scotland has proven that.

After our early morning sea voyage that day, quietly contemplating or singing worship songs, we disembarked and did some other sightseeing in the area. When we returned to our hotel room that night, the rainbow over the Sea was just amazing. Such a gift.

I’m leading the reflections in the Scottish parliament tomorrow afternoon, and will be speaking about one instance when Jesus’ friends were out on the Sea of Galilee without him. When a fierce storm blew up, they thought they were done for, but then they saw Jesus approaching, walking on the water. They were all terrified he was a ghost, which he reassured them he was not.

When Peter asked him to prove it by calling him to his side on the water, Jesus did, and Peter leapt out of the boat and over the side. While his eyes remained fixed on Jesus he did not sink, but when he was distracted by the winds, down he went. Jesus took his hand and helped him back into the boat.

It’s such a picture of hope. When we are overtaken by sudden squalls in our own lives, Jesus is there, in remarkable ways. Maybe in the words of a song or the sound of a bird. In the laughter of a child or a rainbow. 

Tomorrow I’ll be talking about getting out of the boat. But today, I like the assurance that even in the sudden squalls, Jesus is with us, reaching out to help us back into a safe place.

Jesus is always with us.

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