I’ve been working as a Youth Minister for a number of years, and have earned the reputation, I feel quite unfairly, of being considered somewhat scary. One year on a summer camp, the dorm of girls renamed me ‘Scarah’ – largely, I think, because I was strict about bedtimes!
A little while ago I took a group of young people bowling, and as we left the alley we had to cross a busy dual carriageway to get back to the car. As we approached the pelican crossing, I said in a loud and authoritative voice, ‘Don't even think about crossing until the green man appears’ - As I finished speaking I looked over and saw two grown men, who had both begun stepping into the road, quickly bring their legs back and stand looking sheepish on the pavement. As I realised they’d stopped crossing because of what I’d said, I assured them I wasn’t talking to them, but they replied that it was fine, and they were quite happy to wait. I didn’t know whether to be pleased or concerned about how authoritative my words apparently were. Sadly that’s not always the case, there’s many times I speak and no one pays attention!
In Mark’s gospel, we read of Jesus and his friends being on a boat when there’s a furious storm. His disciples think they’re going to die, but Jesus stands up and commands the wind and the waves to be still. Jesus speaks to his creation and it obeys.
Lord God, as we listen to the words of many people, help us to consider and listen to your words, words that can still the storm. Amen