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Friday, March 1

Mark 4: 35-41 (NRSV)

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And waking up, he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Be silent! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”


As an employee of Marriott International for more than 30 years, I am no stranger to hospitality. The company’s founder, J. Willard Marriott, had a deeply held belief that “if you take care of the associates,  they’ll take care of the customers”  and that remains the keystone of the company’s culture to this day. I can imagine God in a similar way—he takes care of those who have faith, so we can in turn take care of ourselves and others.

The story of Jesus calming the storm is important because it is evidence that having Jesus with us in the boat is never a guarantee that there will not be storms in our lives, things that batter and throw us down. Even though Jesus is with us, many of us, like the disciples, forget our faith. In their fear they expected Jesus to care about them and to save them from danger. We often search for help in any number of ways instead of focusing on the one who is already there.

Jesus asks the disciples, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” To me, that is the point of the passage, the disciples lack of faith when the storm was raging. Are we any better than the disciples when life’s storms are raging around us? Do we trust God’s presence? Or do we cry out asking where God is when we need him?

Jesus demonstrates the power to protect and care for his people. There is no doubt that we will face difficult times in our lives. What is in doubt is who we will turn to for help. Who will be with you in the storms?


Holy God, we seek the love and grace, generosity and welcome of Jesus Christ. Show us that way, today, tomorrow, forever. Amen.

Linda Bender