Sermon Hold on, Help is on the way! Text: Mark 6: 45-52 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake.
He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
Mark 6: 45-52 Title: Hold on! Help is on the way Thesis Jesus immediately made his disciples get into the boat to set off for Bethsaida before dispersing the crowd. Mark's Gospel gives us no meaning to the sense of urgency to why Jesus compels the disciples to pull up the anchor and leave. He dispatches them along with the crowd and goes up the mountainside to pray alone. Distances from their master, the disciples undergo an ordeal, struggling against the wind. The storm does not endanger their lives but they find themselves trapped in the middle of the lake, fighting against the wind after rowing in a constant strain. Jesus looking from land can see this battle-taking place hour after hour as evening turns into the early morning hour.
One must assume Jesus supernaturally sees the struggle in the darkness and comes to rejoin them walking on the sea. As I examined the text, I realized that there is no condition too chaotic that God cannot change, no calamity that cannot be transformed into hope, no dilemma that cannot be solved. The word teaches that the God we serve specializes in being a divine deliverer for His people as in the mythos of Israel and his disciples. Similarly, I believe that God can deliver His people in this contemporary age if only we trust, persevere, pray, and have faith in Him. Regardless of the barriers, regardless of the antagonistic attitude and reluctance to assist us as African Americans, we are not going to let go or give up but continue to press our way and hold on to God's blessed assurance. It is comforting to know that it is in the darkest hour of our calamity and circumstance that we will hear the words of our deliverer, liberator, and emancipator saying to us "Take Courage, it is I." Even as the winds and waves of life are striking at our very souls, Jesus is standing on the shoreline and comes to join our boats as we press our way through this journey called life (Seminary).
One can be assured that if God allows us to go into the situation then he knows how to bring us through the situation. (Antithesis) Yet, there are times in our lives we find ourselves dealing with some storms will strip us of our joy, peace, and even our sanity. These storms have the tendency of leaving all of us depressed and bewildered. In this state of chaos we find ourselves looking for help only to be discouraged by the agencies and governmental programs that were designed to help us, but instead tended to favor those who are considered significant either by wealth, job or social status. As African Americans we have experienced a number of helpless conditions at the hands of our white counter parts. Similarly the mercies of the laws and procedures which made our situation a helpless dilemma, such as the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and other reform programs, negate their purpose of advocating and agitating for the black masses.
Only to discover the suppressive programs that seek to undermine the nature of our existence to a chaotic state or disposition. Even in the twenty first century, all of us, from time to time, find ourselves dealing with some type of issue where no matter what we do or say, the situation looks, feels, and appear helpless. African Americans faced the uphill challenges through racism, segregation, discrimination, unequal rights and justice, which permeate every facet of our lives. There is not one person, group, class, gender, or sex that is excluded from facing such conditions. The evidence has clearly been seen through our School systems- One could easily take a walk through any of our schools and see: o Teacher are underpaid o Classes are over populate do Our so-called President, right down the street after getting elected, not re-elected reduced the funding for No Child Left Behind Program Our Communities, that carry the o The spirit of unity and peace that once thrived in our neighborhoods has now been replaced with drugs, alcohol, and crime. Our Families, in the 21 st century are o Scattered, Battered, and Broken.
And even our Churches. o Are being daily separated and divided b / c somebody decides they want to be pastor, shepherd and even bishop. No matter how we try, cry or beg there seems to be no help in such situations. Furthermore, there are some situations in life where our education can't ease our pain, money can't move our mountains, and neither our positions nor our titles have any bearing on the outcome of our situations.
The relevant question that is before us today is how do we hold on in the midst of our helpless situations? Synthesis First, we must acknowledge the divine instruction of the one who sends us. It is Jesus the Christ who sends the disciples to the other side. Like the disciples, many of us today are walking and moving at the direction God's is commanding. What is so frustrating is that the one sends us on the journey does not give us the logistics' concerning the journey. Therefore, when we encounter the storms on the journey like the disciples we come to a state of despair. The text says Jesus send them away in the evening somewhere around 6-9 pm yet at the fourth watch of the night they are still in the same position, facing the same storm.
You can rest assure that God has already calculated in the various storms that will arise on our journey. By acknowledging the fact that it was God who sent us, he is therefore responsible for the casualties of the journey. What we must always remember is that the one who sends us is able to secure and sustain us in the midst of whatever helpless situation we may be facing. Secondly, we must appreciate the omnipresence of God.
In verse 48 the text states that Jesus saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. In the Greek the word saw is i-do which means to see, pay attention or have an observation. Which seems to suggest that Jesus having the omnipresence of God knows all and see in the humanistic struggle we all face in our existence. We as believers should have the comfort in knowing that one who sends us, also watches over us.
The songwriter Charles Gabriel somewhere around the early 1900's declared in his song "His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches over me. Dealing with this point helps me to remember how my grandmother had a theology like Jesus. Grandmother would give me a grocery list to go to a specific store in the neighborhood to pick up items on her list. It was something about Mr.
Bill's products that made grandmother always want to patronize his business. But the thing I didn't realize about grandmother was every-time she sent me to Mr. Bill's store; she would go upstairs and look out the window. It was out of this window she could see Mr. Bill's store which was my destination from the house to make sure nothing happened to me on my journey to and from the store. Jesus does not have to run up the stairs like grandmother to look out of the window because he's right there with me.
And he's right there with you Lastly, if we going to hold on in our helpless situations, we must accept the security of God. The word security comes from the Latin se-, meaning without, and cura, which is care. To be secure is to be able to live without care, worry, or fear. Jesus is not confined to our human ideology or methodology in the order in which he saves us.
No difficulty can obstruct Jesus gracious appearance for his people when the set time has come. He will either find or force away through the most tempest sea for our deliverance. It is at this point Jesus clams our fears and distress by speaking the words "ego " which is interpreted, as "It is I. Jesus goes beyond the premise of just speaking to us verbally but instead chooses to climb into our boats with us and provide the extra security we need in our troubled moments.
This security admonishes us to hold on in our circumstances and situations because we assured that help is on the way.