When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, got into a boat, and started across the lake to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The lake became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land towards which they were going. (John 6:16-21)
In these few lines, an extraordinary, timeless story is told. Seeing past the surface, the disciples are pushed to a physical limit, to a dark place – and their faith is found wanting. How might this passage apply to us? When was the most recent time that my faith was found wanting? What did I learn about myself from that experience? The light of faith in Jesus dispels the darkness of the disciples’ fears. What was the most recent time that the light of faith dispelled my fears?
Young people are full of doubts and fears as they struggle to find their place in the world. And, like those who are older, can be quite cruel to those who are different. Encouraging young people along the way of Jesus – love, care & acceptance – dispels fears for the shadows that they are and builds relationships. Young people may then glimpse that they have ‘reached the land towards which they were going’ – a sense of belonging, of community.
Have a great week!