“In life, there are… the good times and the bad ones!” Do you know that? I prefer the good ones but I have had some difficult times. Do you know this expression “the storms of life”? Ah! The storms of life are something other than the little worries! We are talking about really very difficult very painful circumstances. Today we will find Jesus’ disciples in the midst of a storm. You imagine…a real storm at sea! We will tell you this story of the Gospel of Mark that you will find in chapter 4 and we will give you the answer to this question: The boat, what can it mean to you, to me?
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Full text of this story :
AN UNFORGETTABLE STORM
It has been a long and exhausting day. Sitting in a boat, Jesus spoke to a large crowd of people gathered on the shores of Lake Tiberias. Lake Tiberias, we also call it the Sea of Galilee. After talking and sending everyone away, Jesus explained to his disciples everything they hadn’t understood. Now the sun is starting to hide. The sea takes on a dark blue color. In the distance the shepherds are bringing in their flocks of sheep, some peasants are coming back from the fields, everyone will find their family. Jesus said to his disciples: – Let’s go to the other side of the lake! And he sits in the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Cross the lake! It’s not difficult for professional fishermen. They know the lake very well. In an hour, the crossing will be over. The boat is moving slowly on the water. The disciples discuss in low voices as they pull on the oars. Suddenly, on the horizon, dark ominous clouds cover the tops of the hills. They descend towards the lake at breakneck speed. Suddenly the wind starts to blow with violence. It’s a real whirlwind. The waves are getting very high. A terrible storm suddenly rises… The wind shakes the boat, which rises and falls in deeper and deeper hollows. The disciples pull on the oars, cling to the boat, they are courageous and they do all they can to keep the boat afloat. But… – Let’s hope the boat doesn’t capsize! – A storm, like that! I’ve never seen it; we won’t get out of it alive! – We must row faster! They are scared. Furious waves throw their foam overboard. Total darkness surrounds them not a star, nor a ray of the moon in this leaden sky. They can’t hear each other speak because of the howling of the wind, the sound of the waves. You have to shout always louder. Now they are soaked and tossed about on all sides by the waves that fill the boat with water. It is impossible to stand or even crouch, you have to hang on as best you can. Impossible to row. At any moment the boat may capsize or break and they will drown. They are trying to fight again, with all their might, on their own. All alone? Really? But, they are not alone in this storm! There is someone with them. Have they forgotten? Someone who is sleeping peacefully in the back of the boat. They wake him: – Jesus! Jesus! Wake up! We are lost! Don’t you see we are perishing! Doesn’t worry you? Faced with this outburst of the storm, Jesus is not afraid. He gets up, he threatens the wind – Shut up! and said to the waves, Quiet! Calm down! The wind falls, the storm stops. No more waves! The boat glides over the still water of the lake towards the other bank. No more screams, not a word, not a sound on the lake and in the boat everything is peaceful. In the heart of the disciples calm has also returned. They didn’t understand. They were filled with awe but also with fear. Turning to them, Jesus said: – Why were you so afraid? Why do you have so little faith? The disciples are ill at ease, they do not respond. Indeed, they had completely forgotten that Jesus was with them there in their boat. Why did they so panic? They have already seen him do so many miracles. They are ashamed and at the same time they are frightened. – But who is this man? They say to each other. Who is he that the wind, the sea should obey his word? The wind and the sea obey only God! Would they be in the presence of the Son of God? The promised savior? Would he be there with them in their small boat? They feel very unworthy. Jesus is in the boat; despite their lack of faith, of trust, he rescued them and stays with them. The crossing continues. They will arrive safely on the other side.
1, 2 3, 4 AND YOU AND ME! This boat, what can it represents? For me, it is my life, my heart. I am also on a trip. It started the day I was born and I continue it day after day Yes! There are the easy days but I also experienced storms and there may be others. I do not know but you see, I’m not alone. In my boat, in my life there are my family, my friends but also someone who is with me, accompanying me every day. It’s Jesus. One day I said: – Lord Jesus, I give you my heart, my life, I do not want to be alone, I want to believe in You and trust You. And you, did you invite Jesus into your life, into your boat? If you did it, well you’re not alone, even in the storms that may happen, Jesus will help you, He will support you. He will bring your heart to his peace, his rescue, even in very difficult times. If you did not, you can do it when you want, for example today. He will be in your life, in your boat and He will lead you to the port. I wish you a good journey with Jesus and I speak to you soon on “1,2,3 STORY TIME”.
4, 3, 2, 1 AND WE PARENTS! Our children experience fear, anguish, and we understand that. Some will be assuaged by our presence; some explanations or our interventions are sometimes enough to reassure. But often they need more, they are well aware of the fragility of life, their lives and the lives of those around them. They may experience anxieties that are sometimes hidden. Reminding them that story, praying with them, encouraging them to entrust their lives to Jesus small as they are , sharing with them your fears and the help you experienced will lay the foundations for their lives. And what about us? What about our fears, our anxieties? By keeping in our hearts the words of Jesus, we sail more calmly to the other shore