Bible Study 2: Calming the Storm

On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”’  (Mark 4: 35-41)

Peace! Be still!

In these times it can feel as though a storm has arisen with the waves crashing ever wider across our world. We are reminded of the storm in the gospel story when Jesus and his disciples were out on the Sea of Galilee. (Mark 4: 35-41) What is the ‘storm’ that we are experiencing in the time of COVID-19? It is not just the virus itself; it is also the suffering of those who are ill or lonely, those who are fearful, those who do not know how they will earn their living or where their next meal will come from. It is the loss of our gatherings for worship. It is the intense pressure on health services, on the economy, on all our daily lives. Yet Jesus promised that he is always with us. We turn to him in prayer as we face the storm. And he called us to be the Body of Christ in our world today. Today Jesus is working through his people to calm the storm of COVID-19 – through our words and actions.

Questions for discussion

Read Mark 4: 35-41 (above)

  1. What is this text about?
  2. Why do the disciples wake Jesus? What are they afraid of?
  3. What are people’s fears about what is happening at this time of COVID-19?
  4. What is the ‘storm’ we are experiencing in the time of COVID-19?
  5. Jesus promised that he is always with us. What is our call to Jesus at this time?
  6. Jesus called us to be the Body of Christ. Today Jesus works through his people – through our words and actions. Like Jesus, we need to wake up. What should we be saying and doing to overcome the fears and calm the storm in the time of COVID-19?
  7. What shall we do to be the Body of Christ in our world today?
  8. Where is the good news, the hope of the gospel?

Prayer

God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart;
Bring hope and courage to all who wait or work in uncertainty and anxiety. Bring hope that you will make them the equal of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
For your will is health and wholeness. You are God, and we need you. Amen

[Prayer adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book, o. 765]