Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SALT Challenge - A Trouble-Free Life?

Hi all...It's time for another SALT challenge and this week it was Pauline's turn to select our topic and she choose a passage from Luke 8:22-25; the account of Jesus calming the storm when He and His disciples were crossing a lake. Pauline has a lovely write up on the SALT blog, where she discusses trusting Christ at all times, even when we're in the midst of a figurative storm. I found a commentary on this text and thought I'd share a few portions of those comments: "The miracles all raise one question. That question cannot be any more clearly stated than it is at the end of this first miracle where Jesus calms the storm: "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him." While Matthew describes the storm as a "shaking" (seismos) of the boat, Luke calls it a whirlwind (lailaps). Only Jesus is resting, unaware of the danger that surrounds him. The text expresses the danger in a peculiar fashion--the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The storm threatens them. Jesus is physically there but appears to be mentally absent, taking a nap, unable to help them in their hour of need. In their anxiety they awake him, announcing impending doom if nothing is done: "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" The next three parts of the passage are loaded with significance. First Jesus rebukes the wind, so that calm is immediately restored. Called upon to help his disciples, He responds faithfully. The event is the catalyst for two commentaries, one from Jesus, the other from the disciples. Both present aspects of the passage's teaching. Jesus rebukes his disciples for lack of faith. By asking where their faith was, He is reminding them of his care of them. Even though he seemed to be absent and uncaring, a point Mark 4:38 makes explicitly, He was there and they could rest in the knowledge that He knew what was happening to them. Faith would have told them that God would take them through the terrible storm. So Jesus takes the calming of the storm as an opportunity to remind them that He will care for them. They need to have more faith in God's goodness. They need an applied faith that will hang tough under pressure. Meanwhile, the disciples are pondering the event. Full of fear and marvel, they ask, "Who is this?" The question is a good one, because anyone who knew the Old Testament or Jewish theology would have known that Yahweh has control of the wind and the seas (Ps 18:16; 104:3; 135:6-7; Nahum 1:4; also Solomon 14:3-5). In fact, Psalm 107:23-30 says that God delivers the sailor who is imperiled at sea. Earlier Jesus had forgiven sins; now he calms the seas. Who can do such a variety of things? Luke leaves the query unanswered here. The reader is to ponder the question. But the topic of Jesus' identity keeps popping up in the Gospel and in Acts (Lk 9:7-9, 18-20; 20:41-44; 23:49; Acts 2:30-36; 10:34-43). In the meantime, faith is called for in the recognition that Jesus is there and is aware of his disciples. Jesus' authority means he has the power to deliver those who depend on Him. Calm waves can come only from the One with the power to restore order. We are therefore left with this question, "Is God there and does he care? No question is more basic to human beings' relationship to the creation and to one another. If He is not there, then life is a free-for-all and we must do the best we can for ourselves. Often this worldview means that the one with the most power wins. If God is there, then finding Him and responding to Him is our most basic need. For if He exists, then power resides with Him and everyone becomes accountable to Him." May God give us all the faith to seek Him while He can be found... My ATC was created following a tutorial on Michelle Zindorf's site. (Love her work!) Stamps are from Sweet 'n Sassy, a new release called Serene Silhouettes. Please stop by the SALT blog to read Pauline's write up on this text and to see the other beautiful work created by the team! We'd love to have you participate in our challenge this week...

7 comments:

Julie Masse said...

Beautiful ATC and great commentary!

Korin said...

Awesome, fabulous, gorgeous :)!!

Lythan said...

You so rock the silhouette style. And thanks for the thought provoking words

Hazel said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Kim and love your beautiful ATC x

mamaluke said...

Love your thoughts on this Kim. I like the technique used on the card, very unusual. Have you been reading Tim Keller?

Anke said...

Wonderful ATC Kim, absolutely stunning.

Anke

Monika/Buzsy said...

Gorgeous card Kim! Love the sponging and that scene! Great job with that technique! :o)