Daily Archives: January 5, 2021

Evening Prayer: January 5th

As you have made this day, O God, you also make the night. Give light for our comfort. Come upon us with quietness and still our souls that we may listen for the whisper of your Spirit and be attentive to your nearness in our dreams. Empower us to rise again in new life to proclaim your praise, and show Christ to the world. Amen.

Daily Scripture Passage: Psalm 72:18-19

Psalm 72:18-19 (ESV)

18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
    may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!

Thoughts to Ponder from Mark 6:45-52

Mark 6:45-52 (ESV)

Jesus Walks on the Water
45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

Why would Jesus just walk past his disciples? He’s the one who told them to get into the boat in the first place. He’s also the one who interrupted his prayer and strode toward them across the wave-tossed water they were struggling in. Did he do all of that just so that he could pass them by?

Not at all. Our God is not one to ignore distress or suffering. He is not one to pass by indifferently when we are in tough situations. No, he wants to be with us, and he wants us to be with him always. Remember: He created us to live in a relationship of love with him.

Moses, whom God called his “intimate friend,” once asked God to show him his glory. God agreed and allowed Moses to stand in the presence of “all his beauty” and to hear God pronounce his name as he passed by (Exodus 33:17,19). That scene was dramatic enough, but in Christ, God does us one better! Though God passed by Moses, now he climbs into the boat with us!

Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have been restored to friendship with God. As he promised the disciples, he now promises us: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). He will never pass us by or leave us with nothing but a memory of his mercy and favor. He will never leave us with just the fading echo of his voice.

No. Through the Holy Spirit, our God dwells in the very center of our hearts. He wants us to enter into an uplifting, panic-calming, fear-relieving relationship with him. He wants us to know that his love and his mercy are meant for us. They are meant for us when waves of fear or discouragement, anger or sorrow threaten to swamp us. They are meant for us when the sun is shining and joy fills our hearts. They are meant for us all the time. God wants to get into our boat so that he can assure us that he is Lord of all – including the storms – and that he is always with us!