ADVERSITY RUNNING OUT OF BREATH

Mark 4:35-41
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Mark 4:35-41 — The Message
Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?” Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?” They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!”

09-0011-Rain

09-0011-Rain

So much adversity has happened this past couple of years,
I am almost out of breath.
Our nation seems to be in a time of constant grieving.
If it isn’t revisiting Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting,
or the mass shooting inside a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado,
or watching police behaving feloniously on cell phone video clips,
it is seeing thousands of vets in hospitals,
suffering PTSD, begging on street corners,
or being blown apart in wars we aren’t sure we belong in
Hate and blame abound.
The NRA claims the murders in Charleston
were brought on by the minister himself.
Schools, Christian churches,
Protestant and Catholic
abound in sexual exploitation and abuse,
and our children are stolen off our streets,
out of our arms never to be seen again.
Racism, homophobia,
gender inequality,
nationalism
just will not go away.
Instead of tears our nation rages
and rips itself apart with an unspoken fear.
And many times we just feel helpless…
Newscasters are looking for easy sellable headlines.
Preachers are looking for easy, preachable, phrases.
Politicians are looking for easy reelectable planks for their platforms.
But the truth of it is that it is not easy.
The hate has to stop—now!
The finger pointing and blame has to stop—now!
Seeing these issues as someone else’s problem has to stop—now!
The time for reconciliation is now.
The time for forgiveness is now.
The time to shoulder our culpability and complicity in the problem is now.
The leaders of our nation,
right and left,
have been acting like a pack
of fools, jesters, clowns,
and petty, self-aggrandizing pre-teens
on a stage that demands more than adolescent elbowing.
Our job
as thinking, praying, people of faith
is to stand against this tide
of cynical solipsism,
and fear-filled reactionism.
The change begins in us.
The hope starts here.
There is no buck to pass,
only grace to nurture,
and it begins with forgiveness.
The model for this was made for Christians
by Jesus
when he forgave his tormentors,
and it was acted out again
by the families of the murdered in
Charleston, South Carolina
as they one by one spoke to Dylann Roof,
named their pain and loss,
and then forgave him.
Our task as individuals as I see it,
is to believe adversity can run out of breath,
stand against injustice,
naming it to its face,
asking forgiveness for our own part in it,
accepting that forgiveness,
and then passing that forgiveness on
to those who commit egregious crimes
against us and humanity.
Can we name those whom we are called to forgive?
The time has come for love…

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