|Pen and Ink Reflections||
Storms about sex and gender increasingly rage around, and, importantly, within us. In the face of this, what stories are we telling ourselves, and living into? How are we negotiating the tempests of faith, fact and false news? Where are we headed and what hope do we have? Let us take time to consider. For the sea of faith of which we are a part is in much turmoil because of sex and gender waves. It is likely to remain so, and even grow more turbulent. What options are among us then, and, most vitally of all, where is God in all of this?
Fear and faith, chaos and calm – these are the poles around which this powerful story revolves. No wonder that this story is told in all three of the synoptic gospels. For these are things that we all recognise in our own lives and the lives of others. This is not just a miracle story from long ago. This is our story, both as individuals and as communities. The fear and the faith, the chaos and the calm, they all play out in our daily lives. This is a story that has real, physical actual details. It is also a story whose motifs resonate at the level of dream energy and the deep unconscious...
For many centuries there has been a common understanding of the church as a ship - the later version of Noah's ark, carrying us to safety. I want to use this idea today as we look at the story of the stilling of the storm from the perspective of our current stewardship program.
It is very clear that these are difficult days for the Church in the western world. Changes in the patterns of family life and work, competing demands on a Sunday, arguments over matters theological, moral and scientific, developments in technology and social media, the scourge of sexual abuse and a host of other factors have all taken their toll on traditional congregations. In terms of today's story, they represent the 'storm' through which the ship of the church is presently making its way. It is not surprising in these circumstances that as disciples we sometimes feel not just buffeted but fearful for the well being of the ship and of ourselves. It is not surprising if we are inclined sometimes to question God and ask like those first disciples 'do you not care that we are perishing?'. Yet as the story makes very clear to do so is to miss the point...
sermons and reflections from Penny Jones & Jo Inkpin,