The Gospel reading for this Sunday is Mark 4.35-41
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?
Last week we saw that God’s Kingdom is revealed in the things we often overlook. The parable of the mustard seed also reminds us that God’s Kingdom takes time to develop. You can’t hurry the harvest: it takes time for the seed to bear its fruit. Today’s story makes the same point. Jesus is patient. He listens to God – and so knows when to act and when to rest. We too need to learn to be still, to let go of the things that are beyond our control, and sense God’s presence in the storms of life.
As the book of Ecclesiastes reminds us: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…” Jesus knew the time to rest – and the time to act. We too need to listen to God in prayer, if we are to act at the right time, and also to enter into his rest.
Give thanks for 25 years of ministry of the Church Urban Fund – and ask God’s guidance on its staff and trustees as they plan for the future. Pray for Church Urban Fund and the Contextual Theology Centre as they plan together the next stage of the Call to Change – encouraging churches to pray, listen and act together for social justice. Pray for David Barclay, who will begin working at the Contextual Theology Centre in August, and will have a particular focus on developing Call to Change’s programme of Community Conversations.