He meant to pass by them. Mark 6:48
Prayer of Invitation
I feel tossed and turned by the waves of life. I cannot seem to reach the shore, and it seems as if every time I ask you for help, you abandon me. Instead of asking for help Lord, I am inviting you in. I am inviting you into my circumstance. I am not asking for help to fix it. I no longer want to ask for an outcome. I just want you to be with me, to stay, so that I am no longer afraid. Amen
We share in the familiar. Concepts that are universal and human. Things and places in our lives that relate from one human being to another. This is how I do life- finding that common denominator, that line, that heartbeat that speaks to another. This takes away titles and status and wealth. It makes us flesh and blood and feeling. Even if flesh and blood and feeling is the lowest common denominator, I go with that. I know that I am no greater than any other and that no other is greater than me, accept the great I am.
When I remember this, I don’t feel so small. It makes me remember that all things are possible with God. That humans thrive through relationship. And that even if I cannot get through, I can invite the one who can.
The gospel today says that Jesus “made” his disciples get into the boat (Mark 6:45). He knew a storm was coming. Despite knowing that, he went off to the mountain to pray (Mark 6:46). The boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore (Mark 6:47). He watched the boat get tossed by the waves and came walking towards them. He meant to pass by them (Mark 6:48,).
If you read the passage at face value, it would suggest that the God of love and Prince of Peace intentionally placed his followers on a boat knowing that they would be entering into a storm, then chose not to be with them, but instead watch. Then, only after they were caught in the storm, did he choose to come to them. And more than that, he meant to pass by them.
This seems other worldly sort of cruel, and many who cannot and do not want to believe could cite this passage alone as the reason why. So could we…
But read it again, this time placing yourself into the passage. I got into the boat because Jesus told me too. He let the storm happen knowing it would. He watched from afar as I got battered by the waves. He then came towards me and went to pass me.
Could this describe the current state that you are in? Are you frustrated? Alone? Crying for help? Well, maybe you are praying the wrong prayer…
Let’s stop Jesus from passing us. Let’s cry out to Him. But not for help. Let’s cry out to Him, and like the disciples, simply tell him how we feel. That we are terrified. Let’s be real and honest and at that lowest common denominator.
Let’s not pray for Him to calm the waves and the storm, but to instead calm our hearts.
Jesus is not cruel. He allows us to experience waves because this water shapes us. It shapes virtue and pain and our view of the world. It helps us to carry our cross. And it forces us to keep our eyes on Him knowing that nothing else in the world can stop the madness that surrounds us.
Today, stop Jesus from passing by you simply by calling out His name and whispering, Lord, do not pass me by.