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Prayer for the Week – 22nd June 2024

Prayer for the Week – 22nd June 2024
June 22, 2024 Bronwen

Weekly Reflection MWiB June 22nd 2024

Mark 4:35-41 Jesus calms the storm. Be still, quiet – why are you so afraid?

Jesus said ‘ Peace! Be Still!’  Jesus calming of the storm on the lake reveals a new dimension of his character to those with him in the boat and challenges us to remain open to new possibilities. Its difficult to imagine how it must have felt to be in that small fishing boat out in the middle of a storm that came from nowhere and the person you are looking at for guidance is sleeping!

When I saw this reading I was confident I would get the opportunity to share a water – based  experience in Japan and we actually  got the chance to be on a lake in a storm! Now this wasn’t a storm that tossed a little boat about and caused concern – we were in a fairly substantial cruiser – but it was still a stormy and very rainy day and it reminded me of a statement that was frequently quoted during COVID –  ‘we are all in the same storm but not necessarily in the same boat – some are in a luxury liner,  some being rowed, some paddling  their own canoe and some desperately hanging on for dear life to a floating bit of wreckage’.  When we think of being in a storm, any sort of storm of life it is fundamentally clear that we can each have empathy for others situations, we can offer support in times of need but unless we’ve actually walked in that person’s shoes we have no idea what they are experiencing in life.

In the photo you can see the thick grey clouds coming in as  we travelled across the lake to potentially be able to see Mount Fuji  – this is regarded as one of the best viewing places – however the weather had different plans. ( We were fortunate  however that we had seen  Fuji the day previously so the lack of view was not the disappointment it could have been).  This lake could actually be anywhere – it looks almost like areas of the UK with that weather, and the only giveaway that this is Japan in the red gate/shrine at the edge of the water. These gates, or Torii, are traditionally the entrance to the shrine and separate the transition from mundane to sacred. The water based ones such as this were traditionally placed to allow pilgrims to enter by boat when attending the shrine itself. And this leads nicely onto another photo  of  one of the many gardens we visited .   Jesus said ‘ Peace! Be Still!’  One of the practices the Japanese have clearly mastered is the development of gardens, water gardens and areas for peaceful contemplation. We visited a temple on one occasion where we were encouraged to sit in the quiet and copy out a Buddhist prayer of peace, to still our minds and help us to clear our thoughts before we entered the gardens to spend time in peace and stillness. What a wonderful practice – to be still and quiet before our God – the chance to listen and actually hear what is being said.


StF 18 Be Still, and know that I am God

Prayer: Lord, I confess you don’t always have the effect on me that you had on the waves. I flap about in deep water thinking I’m going to sink at any moment and actually making things worse. You were able to sleep through a storm because you knew you were safe in your Father’s hands. Help me to trust that as You bought the disciples safely across the sea you’ll bring me safely home.  Let me hear you saying ‘Peace! Be still!’ Amen

Philippa Hill, Trustee: Bolton & Rochdale and Lancashire Districts