Collect and Readings for The Second Sunday before Lent – Genesis 2:4b-9, 15-25, Psalm 65, Revelation 4, Luke 8:22-25,The Prayer for today Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Amen.
As humans we are naturally curious about who we are and where we came from. We first wonder about these things when we are toddlers and are still thinking about it a lifetime later. This week's creation story is the older and more primitive of the two in Genesis. What truth does it proclaim? How does it help us in our understanding of the human story?
We find here that God is in charge, and his provision is both complete and flexible. He moulds the man and other creatures from mud, starts a garden, and operates on the man so that both he and the woman are of the same material; they are one flesh. There is a sense of a child creating a world in a sandpit- with all that care and overall vision deciding where things should be and how they should be done. There is a close, practical involvement and good communication. God and humankind are working together. There is the energy of youth and the wisdom of age. So in this ancient story we can sense the truth of God's power, authority and sheer goodness, together with his intimacy with the humans he creates.
When we are living in harmony with God who creates us, there is indeed an inner peace which not even the best relaxation CDs can imitate, nor the best whisky provide. It comes free and holds us firm through the turbulence of a lifetime and beyond.
It is interesting that when the disciples in the storm wake Jesus in their terror of the life-threatening wind and water, he first calms the storm and then challenges their own inner storm of panic. 'Where is your faith?' he asks. We no doubt sympathise with the disciples here! Surely, we are allowed a bit of panic at such times? But Jesus is drawing them to such a deep, secure knowledge of God's protective indwelling that they don't need to lose it completely even when threatened with death. If we think of the radiance of Stephen as he was stoned, for instance, we can see how such faith transforms our reaction to any disaster.
What the disciples began to understand through this experience in the boat, was the link between this extraordinary friend and teacher they had discovered, and the God of all creation.
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson