Daily Devotional for January 27
January 27 Mark 6:47-56
As the great ship Titanic went down, it is said that the band
played "Nearer My God To Thee." That myth salutes the self-
sacrificing courage which provided spiritual comfort to those
in distress. Some people confront tragedy by drawing on their
spiritual resources for courage and hope.
What a different scene emerges when the disciples of Jesus
are in danger of drowning. Not only do they fail to recognize
the person of Jesus approaching them, but they mistake him
for a ghost! These are the close intimates who traveled with
him - the followers who heard his words, saw his deeds of
power and healing, and tasted the bread provided just before
they set out across the lake. And yet, Mark says that their minds
were "completely closed" to the real meaning of the events.
The real meaning of the events, from a faith perspective, is
that even as the people in large masses were fed and cared
for by Jesus, all the more are we who have chosen to be Christ's
collaborators watched over and cared for by Christ.
But we are not so very much unlike the first disciples of Christ.
Having fed on the bread of life, having heard the Gospel, we
still think at moments of danger and fatigue that we can
somehow outrun the storm and reach the opposite shore by
our own efforts. At these times the ghosts of past failures, of
life-long struggles with sin, of parental and family hurts, of
pain from bad experiences with church representatives, all rise
up and distract us. We have been rescued before from drown-
ing in our guilt, our self-pity, and our inadequacies, rescued
by the one who has fed us so often. If the ghosts do not scare
us into a lack of faith, and if we can find the meaning behind
the events which terrorize us, we will still hear Christ saying,
"Take heart, it is I; have no fear."
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.