Peace, be still …

The Covington News - - RELIGION - JAN MCCOY COLUM­NIST Rev. Jan McCoy is the As­so­ciate Pas­tor of Cov­ing­ton First United Methodist Church in down­town Cov­ing­ton. She may be reached at jan.mccoy@ngumc.net or at cov­ing­ton­first.org.

Now when they had left the mul­ti­tude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other lit­tle boats were also with Him. And a great wind­storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was al­ready fill­ing. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pil­low. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are per­ish­ing?” Then He arose and re­buked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

— Mark 4:36-39 (New King James Ver­sion)

A trip to the Sea of Galilee is never com­plete with­out a good fish tale. It only takes one stop at St. Peter’s Fish Restau­rant to un­der­stand the at­trac­tion to the fish­ing in­dus­try and to the taste of fresh fish from the Sea. Here fish­er­men bring in the daily catch for the crowds that gather to eat the fa­mous fish from St. Peter’s. Not a fan of fish, I try to find other things to or­der, but at St. Peter’s, you sim­ply or­der the fish, and your choices are with or with­out the head at­tached. We get the fish, not bat­tered, but fried in oil and served hot with sides that are not meant to do any­thing but com­ple­ment the main course.

Af­ter lunch, a quiet boat ride on the sea is the per­fect way to set­tle a great meal. It’s no won­der that the dis­ci­ples liked be­ing on the sea as much as pos­si­ble. It’s quiet and breezy, with the sun duck­ing in and out be­hind the clouds Clouds can ap­pear with­out much warn­ing, and the winds can change quickly from calm to strong, mak­ing the wa­ter quickly be­come choppy as we drift on the wa­ter in a boat with the en­gines turned off. Closing our eyes, we think about the time when Je­sus went out in a boat with his friends, rest­ing in the back of the boat un­til a squall made the boat ride treach­er­ous. Then as the winds calm once again, we can al­most hear the words of Je­sus, “Peace, be still” as he calms the storm on the sea and the storm of fear in the hearts of the dis­ci­ples.

As I look back over the pic­tures and re­mem­ber the peace of the sea, I think of the places in my own life even now where I need to hear those familiar words of Je­sus calmi­ing my storms.

Where do you need to know the peace of Christ in your life? Close your eyes and trust him to speak to your heart those words that bring re­lief: “Peace, be still.”

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