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Silencing the Wind
August 13, 2023, 6:00 AM

11th Sunday after Pentecost

In a world filled with noise and empty words, God comes to us as stillness and silence, even to the point that wind ceases (Matt. 14:32). Jesus walks over stormy waters to his disciples, entering their boat and being present with them despite their fears and doubts. Today’s readings encourage us to keep our words spare and meaningful, lay aside our little faith with its wordy worries, and listen for God, who comes to us as quieting comfort.

The wind blows us powerfully, frighteningly, making even familiar places seem strange, stirring up the water to obscure our vision and make our journey fearful and slow. Today Jesus comes to us in our drowning panic, responding to our “Lord, save me” with a quick response. The little faith of Peter (and our little faith) is not only a chiding to “do better” in our faith lives and respond with discipline, but it offers forgiveness: even when we risk and screw up anyway, God’s hand is there to reach out and catch us.

To command even the wind to be still is a powerful thing. If a very strong wind suddenly stopped near one of us, we would probably panic, wondering who did it, whether it was the calm eye of a storm, or whether a still bigger tornado is coming. There are giant turbines now that capture the wind to convert it to energy, but Jesus walked out upon the water and helped Peter in his fear to return to the boat’s safety and security. Jesus gives powerful reassurance and the gift of presence. God is not distant from our fears, but close to keep us safe.