Friday, 19 June 2009

Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him? (Mk 4:33-41)

Who then is this? The disciples seem to be filled with awe every time when Jesus performs something miraculous. They see all the miracles He does, but maybe can more connect with the Jesus who is sleeping in the front of the boat with His head on the cushion. Still, they wake Him up when the sea becomes very rough, they seek Him when it seems that the situation is beyond their power, when everything seems lost from their human point of view but then they take refuge in Him.

First of all, I think we can reflect a little while by the fact that the disciples might have associated easier with the human Jesus sleeping on the cushion then with the divine Jesus. Is it not so with most people? Maybe especially in our times, are we not quick to dismiss the extraordinary, the supernatural?

Off course, there are many ways to interpret "supernatural", but I like to propose it mainly in a reference to God as being "above natural". If we lose the sight of Gods divinity, and particular Jesus His divinity, we very quickly also lose the mystery and the otherness of God. Our beliefs are brought down to our human level, and before we know we lose all sense of a real and living God. This could possibly turn into pantheism, God is everywhere and in everything, or result in a meritocracy because God does not seem to have a real impact in our lives.

This leads me again back to the topic of God's impact in our lives. Without this religion seems empty to me. But again, what impact, what relation between God and a person? It seems unreal, and often it might seem that God has no care for us at all, the disciples ask "Teacher, do you not care if we perish?" (Mar 4:38 RSV).

But the relation is unreal in a way, as it is not a relation as we would come across in reality, in our reality here on earth. But this is where we should not lose the sense of the divine, of the mystery. The relation with God is different, it is not sensual as are in a way most of our relations with other people.

Even though it seems that God might be afar off, if it seems that there is no reality to our lives it might be because we expect it to be like other human relations. But I think our relation with God is different, it is a relation that might be exactly routed in a feeling of desolation, of otherness. We feel our heart cry out "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?" (Psa 22:1 RSV) We groan inwardly, we long for God, and this is exactly when we lift up our hearts.This might be of what St. Paul describes as "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words." (Rom 8:26 RSV).

There is a depth in this longing which in itself is the gift of God, and I belief that it is there that we get close to God. It is not despair, but a deep routed awareness of something, but something we cannot understand or comprehend, something we cannot just grasp. But that is it exactly, as we can never comprehend God, but we need to have faith, and this is what we are given, faith hope and love! It gives us a deep peace, it grounds us in a way that cannot be described with words...

"O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest." (Psa 22:2 RSV)
We are constantly seeking, and it seems on the surface that God is not there, but He is. It is just that we have to be silent and listen, as He speaks His loving words in the depth of our soul... a place beyond our sensual experiences, deeper than the deepest feelings of our heart.

It is really God who is calling us all the time, but we have to allow Him in, we have to take this step of faith and encounter the face of God. In the beginning "the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, 'Where are you?'" (Gen 3:9 RSV) So God is calling us... "And [Adam] said, 'I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.'"  (Gen 3:10 RSV). It is very easy to hide, to keep yourself occupied, to fill our lives up to the brim... much harder however it is to find the balance and to make the step towards God, to start to listen, to not be afraid of the silence, to not be afraid of His loving voice...

God will never forget us, and is always near: "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you." (Isa 49:15 RSV) Jesus said to the disciples "Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?" (Mar 4:40 RSV), be not afraid...

1 comment:

Karinann said...

Bro. Luuk,
Thanks for the insightful post. I like your definition of supernatural as it relates to God- God is above natural.
God Bless!


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