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Thought for the week - 23 June 2024

I was kindly asked to write this week's 'Thought for the week' and I am grateful to be trusted with such an important responsibility.

I read the readings that I was to base this on and at first I wrestled with how they connected. I wrote down a lot of notes and then suddenly I saw the way that they might relate to eachother.

The first reading involves the many trials that Job suffered.

Have you ever experienced a very challenging time in your life and found that afterwards you found yourself to be wiser and stronger?

When we face life's trials, is God preparing us for a special task or a new role? Are we being honed into a better person?

I'm sure that many people can identify with this experience and are thankful and proud of themselves for coming through a difficult time.

Job's faith prevailed despite his suffering. He represents the power of faith through adversity.

Paul wrote his letters to the Corinthians to strengthen their resolve to have faith. He was convinced that Christ suffered to pay for the sins of humanity and went to his cruel death to pay for our personal sins.

When we face life's challenges we can be overcome by fear. We often turn inwards and become self obsessed. Our judgement and perspective can become distorted.

It's at these times that we must hold on to our faith and put our trust in God to guide us through our turmoil. If we try our best to concentrate on Christ's teachings and absorb the truths that they reveal, we are unable to resist becoming aware that we can no longer be governed by our own selfish desires. We can no longer be a slave to our ego and we are drawn towards the light again.

We see clearly that it is not enough to only love those who love us and we are driven to share our love with everyone we meet.

In Mark's gospel Jesus has been surrounded by a crowd of his followers and is tired. He sails with his disciples to the other side of a lake and falls asleep in the boat. There is a violent storm and his disciples are frightened and wake him saying, "Master, don't you care that we will perish?" Jesus calms the storm and says to the sea, "Peace, be still", and the storm ceases.

He says to his disciples, "Why are you afraid? How is it that you have no faith."

The disciples say to eachother, "What manner of man is this that the wind and waves obey him?"

So here are three bible passages that speak to us about fear and faith. I hope I have succeeded in finding some fundamental truth running through them.


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