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Jesus Stands By Me and Calms the Storm

January 29th, 2006
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Calmthestorm_2 Today, January 29, 2006, is the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany. In the historic Lutheran church year, the Gospel reading for today is from Matthew 8:23-27, Christ stilling the storm. J.S. Bach wrote what perhaps is one of his most operatic cantatas, BWV 81 "Jesus schlaeft, was soll ich hoffen" — "Jesus sleeps, how can I hope?" for this Sunday. It puts the Christian in the boat with Christ, as the storms of life rage. Here then is a meditation on the Gospel reading, inspired by Bach’s Cantata 81.

In this life there are times when all appears lost and no hope seems possible. Death stares us square in the face. We cry out to the Lord, wondering why He seems so far off, so far away. Why does He seem to hide Himself in the midst of our trouble? Why does He sleep when we are threatened so? The storms of life churn around us and crash against us, doubling their rage and anger. Where do we turn when the guilt of our sin fills us with grief, or when loneliness and worry, anguish, fear, frustration, or anger, press down unbearably?

In the midst of life’s storms and tempests, the Christian stands like a boulder, while all around the stormy wind howls and angry waves roar and foam, threatening to weaken our faith. We hear the voice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, "Oh, you of little faith, why are you so fearful?" He speaks to the storms and winds and waves in our lives, "Be still! Be quiet! Return to the boundary set for you, so that my chosen ones will not be lost. Be still! Be quiet!" He speaks His forgiveness, "Be still! Be quiet!" He speaks to your worries, your fears and your anxious thoughts, "Be still! Be quiet! I have overcome all of this, for you. Sin has met its match. Satan is vanquished. Even death can not destroy you. I have come for you. My death, is your life. In my peace, you find your rest. Therefore, be quiet. Be still."

How blest you are when Christ speaks His word to you. Your helper awakes and with Him all the storms and troubles and angry raging seas of life, all the dark and fearful nights of sorrow and worry and anguish are gone. How? Beneath the shelter of His healing mercy you find your rest and hope and safety in the storms of life. You are freed from all enemies. So, let the Evil Foe rage and storm. Jesus stands with you. Yes, even while thunder and lightening crash and flash all around, Jesus is here with you. Sin and hell do frighten and threaten, but there is One greater than them, Jesus, your priceless treasure. And he says to you, "Peace! Be still!"

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Categories: Christian Life
  1. January 29th, 2006 at 08:57 | #1

    Greetings Pastor McCain,
    I have been a subscriber to your email list for quite some time. But yesterday, at your advice, I linked our blog site to your blog and, more importantly, added your blog to my RSS reader. This morning’s posting is a good example to show that your advice was good and I am glad I followed it. Thank you very much.

  2. January 31st, 2006 at 13:12 | #2

    Rev. Paul T. McCain,
    Hi, my name is Sarah!I see that a Mr. Janke commented to you! Well, Mr. Janke is my teacher!Anyway, I just wanted to say that your blog really helped me! There are so many times in my life where I just feel like Jesus is so far away from me and he doesn’t hear me when I pray. Thank you so much for posting those comforting words on your blog site, it really made me feel a whole lot better! Now I know that even if Jesus feels far away, really he is right here by me saying “Peace! Be Still!”

  3. February 2nd, 2006 at 13:12 | #3

    Hello Rev. Paul McCain!
    My name is Daniel, and I am a student of Mr. Janke also.
    This is a really good blog! I liked it a lot because it is so true! There are so many times when we are all tempted by Satan, the world, and our own sinful flesh. When I am tempted, I like to think of Jesus and how he is so much stronger than the devil, the world and our sinful flesh.

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