“Peace! Be still! Why are you afraid?”

A brief sermon/reflection for the Third Sunday after Trinity Year B – 2021

The readings for this Sunday are for those of Trinity 3:

  • Job 38. 1-11

  • Psalm 107.1-3, 23-32

  • 2 Corinthians 6. 1-13

  • Mark 4. 35-41

You might like to use the link below to find the above readings, and click on any of the reading above that you wish to use: http://www.katapi.org.uk/CommonWorship/CWLectionarySelV.php

Collect of the day

Let us first spend a few moments in silence to centre ourselves,
to gather ourselves in our souls,
to come before the Lord just as we are with our joys and sorrows,
our hopes and our fears, our loves and our pains.
Let us just focus our minds and hearts on Jesus who is the answer for every problem.
Let us pray that the Spirit will work through our lives
to bring Christ to the world.

Silence is kept

Lord Jesus,
the times that we live in
really challenge our faith in you and in one another;
won’t you grant us your Spirit, Lord
that we may understand the signs of the times
and commit ourselves to you,
your ‘good news’ of hope
and to your Kingdom of love.
Teach us to be still,
to be calm and to trust you
knowing that
you are always with us in our journey.

Amen.

OR

God our saviour,
look on this wounded world
in pity and in power;
hold us fast to your promises of peace
won for us by your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

Post Communion

O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining
and whose power we cannot comprehend:
show us your glory as far as we can grasp it,
and shield us from knowing more than we can bear
until we may look upon you without fear;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen.

Prayer before the Sermon

Loving Heavenly Father,
we thank you for the words you have given us today.
We know they are words of life and salvation.
Open our hearts Father, touch our souls,
forgive us our sins especially our lack of faith,
help us to respond to your word.
May we know that you are our Lord and Saviour
who promises us the power from on high,
your Holy Spirit.
May we experience in our hearts your love
and your presence always.

Amen.

A homily based on the readings of today is given below:

“Peace! Be still! Why are you afraid?”

The key verses from God’s word today:

2 Corinthians 6. 1-13:

Verse 1:
“As we work together with Christ, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.”

Verse 2:
“Now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!”

Mark 4. 35-41:

Verse 39:
“He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’”

Verse 40 :
“He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’”

The gospel that we have heard narrates an event in the life of Jesus. Jesus had been ministering to people – teaching, healing, visiting. At the end of the day they were crossing the lake to the other side when a strong storm arose and there was danger that the boat might capsize. Funny enough, or strange enough, Jesus was asleep in the stern of the boat. The disciples took panic and woke Jesus up and he said those unforgettable words: ‘Peace! Be still!’ and turning to the disciples he said, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’

From this event, it is very clear that Jesus is able to still the natural storm as well calm the storm of fear and panic of the disciples. Jesus is Creator and Saviour; we can count on him with total faith and trust. He also said: “Come to me, all you who labour and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11. 28)

Similar situations happen in our lives, not just natural storms but social, economic, political, spiritual, relational and emotional storms and we quite often take panic; we get frightened and often we lack that utter faith in God, in Jesus, as someone who can deliver us and grant us peace and calm.

If you are in such a situation and you are in fear and panic because something has happened in your life, in your family, in your work, don’t forget to turn to Jesus; he can still the storms in your life; he can calm the turbulence in your life. Only he asks us to have faith in him. As we heard today in the gospel: ‘Peace! Be still! Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’

That is why every time we come together in this way in worship, in fellowship, in communion, Jesus tells us through the words of Paul that we heard in the first reading: “Now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!” Now is the time to turn to God again with a total and absolute commitment of love and trust.

God is calling us today to turn to him, to listen to him and  to commit ourselves to him in a deep, sincere and personal way, only then can we have the power to testify to the good news of salvation to others in our community. The words of Saint Paul in the first reading that we heard are absolutely relevant:

2 Corinthians 6. 1-13:

Verse 1:
“As we work together with Christ, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.”

Verse 2:
“Now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!”

We have come together today in worship, fellowship, in communion of faith and commitment to Jesus Christ as his followers; it is not easy for us to navigate our way through the storms and temptations of life, a satellite navigation won’t help us, that is why we need to turn to Christ again as he tells us: ‘Peace! Be still!’ and ‘Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?’

If Jesus has power over the natural storms, gales and tempests, he can also calm our lives buffeted by all sorts of tensions, stress and storms of life. Only we must learn to trust in Jesus Christ as our Saviour and commit our lives into his hands. He will calm the storms of our lives!

Pause to pray….

A further Prayer you can say now:

Lord Jesus,
I believe you are the Son of God.
Thank you for becoming one of us.
Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.
Thank you for rising from the dead
to give me hope and the gift of eternal life.

I repent of my sins
and invite you into heart and life
as my Lord and Saviour.
Please grant me your Holy Spirit
so that I may know you, love you
and follow you every day of my life.

Amen.

[Revd Dr ST Mattapally, Rector, Springline Parish, Diocese of Lincoln]