Who, Then, Is This? Our Only Help


June 23, 2024 - Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation! Now we are in the storm, the boat almost swamped; but Jesus is here now, and when we call him, he will calm the storm. Even the wind and waves listen to him as they would to their creator. We also listen to him and are called to believe in the power of God’s word in him, a power greater than all that we fear.

As the disciples set out together in the boat with the sleeping Jesus, a great windstorm arose so that the boat became swamped. As we set out in mission together in the ship of Christ’s church, how many storms arise! The elements of chaos still seem to wreak havoc in our lives, communities, and in the church—and we become terrified. Though Christ is present the disciples and we ourselves begin to doubt his care and power: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” His presence seems far too weak to help us, though it is exactly in this vulnerable weakness that Christ shows his almighty power. Jesus wakes at the disciples’ cries and rebukes the wind and waves—they are no match for his command. The terrifying calm that follows demonstrates his divine power over all the chaos that continually threatens us. And we find ourselves awe-struck before the living God who has met us in our weakness and yet overcome it. The Christ who sleeps in the boat is the same Christ who hangs on the cross, seemingly helpless. Yet the helpless one is none other than the all-powerful Lord God. “Who then is this?” but the Lord of all! The God who in the beginning brought order to the chaotic face of the deep now in Christ brings peace as we face the storm. So why are we afraid? Have we still no faith in this helpless Lord who is our only help?

©2024, Sundays and Seasons, a div. of Augsburg Fortress.