Why Are You Afraid? June 22.2012

Mark 4:40-41 
Jesus said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
And the disciples were filled with great awe and said to one another,
“Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
“Why are you afraid?” It’s such a raw question isn’t it? What drives our fears? Our deepest fears are often grounded in what we feel we might lose. That could be our independence, respect, loved ones or even our own lives.If we don’t do things well or right, will we be abandoned? Will we be left alone? Will we lose a love one, a child, parent, a partner? Will we have enough resources to survive? Can we support ourselves and families? Where will we turn if things collapse? What will become of us if we fail?Jesus answers his first question with another question, “Have you still no faith?” If we read the word faith here as believing then we can add it to the list of things we can and will at times fail at. Belief as in mind-over-matter is theoretical and intellectual. It’s something we talk about and work to describe, it’s the words and ideas we have about who God is and how we relate to God. This is important and life-giving work but not what, I think, Jesus is talking about in this passage. Jesus is not asking about faith as in belief he’s asking about faith as in trust. “Have you still no trust?” asks Jesus.

Jesus invites the disciples to understand that in the midst of the worst possible moments forgetting to trust that God is with them will surely help their fears eat them alive. Think of a time you have experienced a bad storm. Did you let your feelings of isolation and shame multiply the winds and increase the size of the waves that threatened to tip your boat or did you reach out to trusted friends, to loving family to compassionate strangers and let them in on your pain and fear?

Jesus invites us, remember to trust in God. God who joins us in the boat, who stirs the heart of all creation, who did not abandon the disciples or Christ at the cross and will not abandon us in the worst of times or the most joyful of moments.

Instead of a prayer I offer you these blessing words by Marianne Williamson today. May it be so.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”



Musical Meditation
Indigo Girls, Jewel & Sarah McLachlan
(I know what you’re thinking… what a combo!)
The Water’s Wide