When Do You Wake Up Jesus? Thoughts Before The Talk

The Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared," is more than applicable when I think about the days my pencils broke. It happened taking in High School when I took the SAT and thankfully I had my extra number 2 pencil ready to go.

But the story that goes with this week's sermon comes from Mark 4:35-41. The problem I have with this is we find the disciples of Jesus, many of whom are fishermen, dealing with something they were prepared to handle - a storm on the sea (more accurately it was a lake). Yet in all their years of experience, some how this storm brought them to their wits end and they cry out to Jesus.

What was lacking, Jesus said was faith and obviously this is significant to what Jesus has been teaching. It is so obvious in fact, we (I) skim over what faith must mean for us. Can you be so prepared your faith doesn't fail you? Metaphorically speaking, sometimes life's storms are nothing more than an inconvenience like when you leave open your windows and the seat gets soaked. Other times, our house is destroyed by the storm.

I don't think the issue is a problem having to do with the existence of evil, it is an issue with life. In the world we live in, we don't go out without our share of storms and scars. Nothing in the Biblical record promises us that God is the almighty giver of a good time yet we act like it and even preach it, all unintentionally mind you.

I wonder if the lack of faith comment comes from the disciples failure to do one thing...wake up Jesus first. God doesn't help those who help themselves - this is not in the Bible. God comes to those who call on him when the lead breaks. Don't wait till you fail "the test." (For a scholar's take on this text, look at Sharon Ringe's take at WorkingPreacher.org).

May I Ask: What are you waiting to "wake-up" Jesus for today?

May I Suggest: If you're preaching the Fresh Start series, this text is in the year B cycle of the lectionary and Text Week can help you out. You'll find a great children's sermon or opening for your congregation if you use Philip Schroeder's idea in his book.

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