In the Office: Faith (and Service) in the Storm

This has been a somewhat “stormy” season for me. Today, I’ll share in the second funeral to occur at my church in less than a week. Two days ago, my mother faced a significant surgery (which went well, I’m happy to say). And then, like so many others, I feel like I’m being buffeted by the waves of both hope and hysteria that surround today’s inauguration of Donald Trump to be America’s next President. Love him or hate him, it seems clear that we’re in for some “choppy seas” while the nation and the world adjust to his new approach to governance.

But in today’s Daily Office from the Book of Common Prayer, there are two passages that offer both assurance and guidance in terms of responding to these turbulent times. In today’s gospel lesson, Jesus and his disciples find themselves in the midst of a storm. The disciples are understandably terrified; but Jesus says to them:

“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark4:40)

No matter what we face, Christ has promised to be with us. And He is the One in whom we place our faith. He is the One who gives us reason for hope. And though we struggle to see it at times, the wind and the waves do obey Him.

And that’s why today’s epistle lesson also speaks to me. Faith in our “storm-stilling Savior” makes it possible for us to do more than to flee from or to passively ride out the storms within and around us. Faith invites us to be passionately engaged in the midst of the storm. As Paul puts it:

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” (Ephesians 6:8)

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? Have faith. Serve wholeheartedly. And may the Light of Christ be your hope and your joy, regardless of whether your day is stormy or fair.

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