One storm, different boats (27-04-20)
A Bible Reading: Matthew 8: 23 - 27
When Jesus got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but Jesus was asleep. The disciples went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” Jesus said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”
For the past weeks since the lockdown, Coronavirus has dominated every part of our lives, and it’s affecting every person in every country around the world. It’s tempting to say ‘we are all in the same boat’, but this is quite simply not true. We are all in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat.
For some, lockdown is relatively relaxed, they are well provided for through food deliveries and they are enjoying taking it easy and pottering. For others, this is a time of acute loneliness and anxiety, especially if they get ill when living alone.
For some, work has transferred to their ‘home office’, and it’s busier than ever as organisations and companies re-invent themselves on-line. For others, it’s torture with no work and the very real question: How am I going to pay my bills?
Some are furious with those who break the quarantine, but others are desperate to escape. Many of us have to stand in queues at chemists, banks, post offices and supermarkets out of necessity.
Some have experienced near death from the virus, some have already lost loved ones, some are not sure their loved ones will make it. Yet others see themselves as invincible and think Covid-19 is no big deal.
Here in Britain, we are supported by an amazing NHS and many key workers who put their lives at risk to save ours. In poorer countries, people face the deadly peril of starvation as well as Coronavirus with little medical aid.
Some face this crisis with faith in God, others think that God is asleep or AWOL, and others don’t think God exists.
No, we are not in the same boat, but we are in the same storm. And of one thing we can be certain: our ever-present, ever-loving God is in every boat alongside each one of us, whether we believe in him or not. He holds everything in this world together and still has the power to calm both the storm and our fears.
Living Lord, present in every circumstance of life, may we hear your voice in the midst of the storm, saying: “Peace! Be still!” We pray for renewed trust in you and for a gift of faith to sustain us, that we may be filled with amazement at your saving grace day by day. Amen.