Posted by Rev. Jon Dunbar

Readings for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost

Mark 4:35:35-41;  2 Corinthians 6:1-13;  Job 38:1-11

There are some days when nature displays a jaw-dropping beauty. Today is one of those days – clear blue sky, light breeze, deep green grass. But then there are those other days…when violent storms come crashing in, winds howl, floodwaters rise. What is true of nature is also true of life in generally. Moments of sweetness, joy, and contentment are followed a short time later by frustration, anger, or fear. How do you handle the ups and downs of life?

When things got rough for the disciples in the boat, their impulse was to question whether Jesus actually cared about them. Why would he allow them to feel this way (Mark 4)? The prophet Job was in the same boat -no pun intended- as the disciples. When circumstances went south for him, he began to question God’s greatness. This earned him a sharp rebuke from the LORD of the universe (Job 28).

St. Paul shows us a better way. Though dying, he knows he lives. Though poor, he knows he’s rich (2 Cor 6). He knows that in a world of ups and downs, God’s grace is the only enduring reality. And so he is not afraid though life is hard. Whatever else he may lose, he has gained Christ. And that is really all one needs in the end.