Trust God’s Word; He Stilled the Worst Storms
These are the readings for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost.
God’s Word for This Week
The world is a confusing place. We often feel it does not deal fairly with us. We go through anger, even terror, when we don’t understand the turmoil around us. But in Word and sacrament Jesus reminds us of his presence. He forgives our foolish self-centeredness because of his holy book. He opens our eyes to the rescue he has won for us. Thus, he gives life in this trouble-filled world new hope and new purpose.
Traditional First Lesson – Job 38:1-11
How did God change around the conversation of Job who challenged the fairness in the way his life was going?
Sometimes we challenge God’s wisdom when we think things are falling apart in our lives, but God is in control. Through several full chapters, he drills Job with questions about the universe that only God can answer. He alone orders the events of this world and he does it for our eventual good.
What impact would that have on Job?
Job stood silent and was put back in his place knowing he doesn’t have the insight that God has into the present and the future. He learned not to discredit the Lord’s justice. He learned his lesson to trust God and turn his situation over to God’s wise plan.
Supplemental First Lesson – Proverbs 30:4,5
Compared to God, how smart and strong are you?
Only God gathers up the wind in the hollow of his hand. Only God wraps up all the waters of the world in his cloak. You are not smart or strong at all compared to God. Trust him, not yourself—not at all.
If every word of God is flawless, what should you believe?
Since every word of God is flawless, even when it seems to make no sense, you should believe every word of God.
If every word of God is flawless, what then should you do?
Since every word of God is flawless, you should do everything God commands you.
Traditional Second Lesson – 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
What drove Paul to go to the lengths he did to persuade others, even if he seemed crazy in this pursuit? How does he view other people now?
Paul was convinced (another aspect of faith) that Christ had died effectively for everyone. The eternal impact of that draws people to set their own worldly dreams aside and live only for Christ and his purposes for us.
Do you feel that same passion to fulfill God’s purpose for you in the world?
He no longer looked at them like the world does but saw in the believers a “new creation.” For the rest he saw himself as an ambassador for Christ to bring them the message of peace (reconciliation) between God and all people—the great exchange of Christ’s life for ours.
Supplemental Second Lesson – Acts 27:13-26
In short, what happened to Paul, Luke and 274 others?
Paul, Luke, and the other 274 people went through a terrible storm and shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea.
Why would God let Paul and the others on the ship go through such an awful two weeks, then shipwreck them? (See Acts 27:20.)
God must have wanted all 276 people to give up all hope of being saved from the storm. In a similar vein, Martin Luther wrote, “no man thoroughly humbled until he knows that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, devices, endeavors, will, works, and depends entirely on the choice, will, work of another, namely, of God alone … When a man has no doubt that everything depends on the will of God, then he completely despairs of himself and chooses nothing for himself but waits for God to work; then he has come close to grace and can be saved.”
Gospel – Mark 4:35-41
What miracles did the disciples see?
The disciples saw Jesus calm rough waters just by talking to the wind and the waves. Here was another example of Jesus’ divinity, as he did what no other man can.
Why did he rebuke them?
The Twelve should have realized there was nothing to be terrified about, with Jesus nearby. Also, Jesus had promised to make them ‘fishers of men.’ They had not done so yet; so they could not drown. Jesus has to keep his promises! Faith focuses not on what we see around us, but on what God has said. Does your faith rest on Jesus and his work, despite fear inside you and turmoil around you?