February encompassed almost every type of winter weather imaginable, from warm spring like sunshine to raging storms we saw all manner of weather conditions, we even finished the month with a flurry of snow. The damage caused by Storm Doris was immense and it was a sober reminder of the power of nature.
Storms are frequently mentioned in the Bible and are often used to demonstrate Jesus’ command over the forces of nature. The Calming of the Storm is a story we know well and Jesus’ response reminds us that he is ultimately in control.
The weather on Lake Galilee can change very quickly, a boat can set off from the shore in fine calm weather but by the time it is half way across the lake the weather can change and the once peaceful waters become the raging waters of the storm. For those looking down on the lake from the mountains which surround Lake Galilee the dramatic picture of the storm unfolding is something they can only watch and hope that those caught up in it can make it safely to shore.
The disciples were seasoned fisherman and yet the storm still caused them to panic, you can almost hear Jesus sighing “Don’t panic” as he says to them “Why are you afraid? Don’t you trust me?” Jesus hears the fear in their shouts and rebukes the wind and the rain, “Peace, be still”, and the storm subsides.
When an earthquake happens survivors are desperate to find those who have been trapped in the rubble, pulling and tugging at the fallen masonry. But when the trained rescuers come along the first thing they do is to pause, to listen and try and locate where the people are trapped. And then again from time to time, asking for complete silence so they know where to search using their skills for the very best results. And we too need to be willing to pause, to stop the frantic search, to pause our random busyness, in order to listen and to act wisely. To seek the things God really wants to do in our lives, and not the million and one things we think he wants us to do.
Lent is a time for stillness and reflection, to pause and journey with Jesus into the wilderness. We may think Lent is just a good time to give up chocolate, but it primarily it is a time of prayer and repentance as we watch and wait with Jesus, in preparation for Holy Week and Easter.
This Lent we will once again be collecting our change for WaterAid. Last year St Dyfnog’s sent £343 to WaterAid and through your generosity lives have been changed as we have helped to bring clean, safe water to more and more villages in areas of the world where water is in short supply. Thank you.
This Lent may we know Christ’s peace and stillness as we reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us.