Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you.
A great storm lashes this nation while much of the people sleep, a storm of racial hatred, a storm of fear. In fear a white man seeks out blacks and kills them in their church. This is not new. The storm will not stop, the waves of death will not stop. He is only one wave of the storm, blown by great winds of fear. It is not out of hope or happiness he kills, he kills out of fear. The one wave is not the problem; the storm is. The storm envelopes us all. It defeats us, makes us anxious. We cry, “Do you not care that we are perishing?”
A great storm battered the disciples' boat. Wind, invisible and relentless, howled down on them, pushing against them. Waves would not stop, would not stop bashing them, beating them, filling the boat, threatening to swallow them.
Fear howled in them like the wind, fear beat in them like waves, a relentless storm of fear. Their hearts cried, “Save us! Manage this!” But Jesus was asleep, not worrying, not in control. Serene. At peace. “Jesus, join our anxiety! Won't you despair with us?” But Jesus was unafraid. Maybe weary, maybe needing not to be needed, but also unafraid. At peace.
It was not fear, but his sisters' and brothers' cries that awakened him. In his deep calm he rose, not in fear, not in anger, but in peace and gave his peace to the others, and gave his peace to the winds and the seas. Infinite peace flowed through him like wind, passed out into the world like waves, peace stronger than the storm. It was not fear, but peace that calmed the storm.
The Man of Peace cries out in our own souls. Calms the storms of our fears. Grants us peace beyond understanding. We let it fill us, that divine peace, deep peace with all the world, deepest love for this world and all its children, children with and without mercy, peace with the world and all is raging wounds, peace even with the storm, for it is peace with all of life. This peace is also agony for our sisters and brothers. It is care that we are perishing. But it is care, not fear. It is deep peace.
And in that peace we shall awaken. Not fear but our sister's and brothers' cries awaken us. We rise, as Christ rises, always in hope. In deep peace, not in fear or anger, we will rise and stand in the storm. The winds will whip us. He waves will batter us. But we will stand, because Christ stands in us. We will cry out to the storm, and cry out to our sisters and bothers with a peace stronger than the storm, “Peace! Be still!”
The wind will still lash us, the waves batter. Fear will react; anger will rise like new waves. The wounds will retract and hide, afraid to be touched, the wind afraid to be named. But in the storm we shall stand in that peace that is love, cry out with that peace that is anguish, hold fast with that peace that is courage, endure with that peace stronger than the storm. And there shall be peace.
Peace. Be Still. Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?
Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve
__________________ Steve Garnaas-Holmes Unfolding Light www.unfoldinglight.net