Peace Sunday 2021 - Teaching resource

  • Worship Resource

Finding Healing and Hope in Crisis

Jesus walks on water (Matthew 14:22-33) and Jesus calms the storm (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41).

You can imagine Jesus walking on top of the turbulent water thrashing against the boat, or the storm-high waves covering the boat, and understand the fear the disciples must have felt – to the degree that they thought they were seeing a ghost, or were sure they would be drowned in a shipwreck. We too can go through circumstances that flood us with fear, in which we feel nauseous without being ill, or where we are sure we will fail and don’t even try.

The storms in our lives can be varied: our health is in peril; our finances or marriage on the brink of despair; our child’s life in danger. I don’t know which one you are going through, but at these tumultuous times we experience true anxiety; we feel alone, depressed, undeserving of God’s grace; without hope, as if we are trapped in a deep, dark hole that we cannot escape from. On a personal level, these daily occurrences seem increasingly more difficult. It also happens on a global level with conflict and disagreements that turn into violent clashes that can even lead to the loss of life for some people. So, some people ask, “Where is the world headed?” We cannot deny the truth of these circumstances.

We are not exempt from these experiences as children of God because “In the world you face persecution.…” John 16:33 (NRSV). Our Christian duty is to reflect the victorious character of Jesus.

I invite you to imagine Jesus walking over the turbulent water as related in Matthew 14:27 when he said to the disciples: “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

After a time of much anguish, like when you are about to lose your life, or you think you are going to fail, hear the calming voice of Jesus in Matthew 8:26 saying “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. Oh, what a glorious experience!

This wonderful sensation of being protected by the love of God through the manifold expressions of God’s power is available to you for your life. Jesus is extending his hand to assist you and will not let you perish in the turbulent water of this life. He is here to heal you of all your infirmities and all the pain it is possible to experience. There is no one who better understands these difficult situations that we must live through. When the night is at its darkest and most threatening; when you have lost all hope; Jesus walks toward you with every intention of rescuing you, sustaining you and consoling you.

It is possible that you can hear his voice saying: “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26). Often, we need to pause and turn our face to Jesus so that we may live out our peace; that peace that allows us to overcome the situation; that peace that fills us with strength to carry on, that enables us to do that which our anguish gets in the way of.

Take the time that you need to today to repeat the words of the disciples: “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:27) We put our trust in God. He will not put us to shame.

Adriana Belinda Rodriguez Velasquez is a member of the Peace commission. She is a member of Caminando con Dios, part of the Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Hondureña.