This summer, we’ll hear Susannah’s favorite story about Jesus—Jesus in the boat with his friends, calming a terrifying storm.
Two weeks later, we’ll hear one of mine—Jesus, rejected in his own hometown, sends the disciples two-by-two. “Take nothing but the message,” Jesus says.
This story tells me, spreading the gospel is not so much about welcoming others as it is about seeking a welcome. Hence my invitation to All Saints—find ways to bless people before they come to worship or even set foot in the church building. It’s not about them coming. It’s about us going.
“Cleansed by the storm” is good news for people out, seeking a welcome, who get caught in the rain. Jesus is there in the storm, with people pursuing God’s purpose, exposed to raging seas and howling winds, while igniting passion for Jesus and transforming our neighborhoods. The storm is more than bad weather; it’s a metaphor for being swamped by human resistance and rejection and getting seasick with shame, failure, and inadequacy.
“Train in all weather because you’ll race in all weather.” Before I swam, biked, and ran my first Quad Cities Triathlon, experienced triathletes taught me this. So I trained rain or shine. That’s true now, as I prepare to ride all of RAGBRAI this July.
What resilience this creates in our lives and life of faith! Engaging discomfort when the stakes are low prepares us for when the stakes are all too high. And even when it feels like we’re drowning, Jesus is near, so we are being: