Gospel of Mark 4:35-41
On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples,
“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 he 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?”

“Show me the way was performed by the rock band Styx. Denis DeYoung wrote
and sang this powerful song with its obvious spiritual message. It describes the
thoughts of many people today. It puts to rhyme and melody the struggle we face
with trying to make sense of what is going on in the world.

Every night I say a prayer
In the hopes that there’s a Heaven
And everyday I’m more confused
As the saints turn into sinners
All the heroes and legends
I knew as a child have fallen to idols of clay
And I feel this empty place inside
So afraid that I’ve lost my faith

Show me the way, show me the way
Take me tonight to the river

And wash my illusions away
Please show me the way

And as I slowly drift to sleep
For a moment dreams are sacred
I close my eyes and know there’s peace
In a world so filled with hatred
That I wake up each morning and turn on the news
To find we’ve so far to go
And I keep on hoping for a sign
So afraid I just won’t know

Show me the way, show me the way
Bring me tonight to the mountain
And take my confusion away
And show me the way

And if I see a light, should I believe
Tell me how will I know

Show me the way, show me the way
Take me tonight to the river
And wash my illusions away
Show me the way, show me the way
Give me the strength and the courage
To believe that I’ll get there someday
And please show me the way

Every night I say a prayer
In the hopes that there’s a Heaven

Heaven is a matter of faith. No one has the proof of heaven’s existence, yet most
people hope it exits, and that God hears our prayers.

We look around and see people who we thought were good, doing hurtful, hateful
and abusive things. At some point we begin to question our childhood’s ideology
and even heaven’s existence because we don’t see positive changes transforming
the world. Desperation, emptiness and fear are unmistakably familiar, and we feel
all alone left to struggle against the opposite of what our soul desires.”

Paraphrase (with my additional words and ideas) found at
http://www.charmingelements.com/show-me-the-way.html

Priest or not, I have my own questions, my own wondering, my own struggles of
faith, and my own battle with fear.

We hear inspiring stories of God’s heroes conquering their giants, like David, the
shepherd boy chosen to be Israel’s king. But when we’re hurled about by the
world’s gusty winds, and our life boat is tossing violently, it’s common to wonder:
“Is God with me or am I alone?” “Does God really care?”

Fear takes a tight hold. Fear is a survival instinct, but also a paralyzing,
destructive, divisive tool we allow to have control over us.

The disciples experienced fear. They were instructed by Jesus to leave where they
were and sail across the Sea of Galilee. This giant lake was and still is notorious
for sudden, fierce storms.

The disciples’ boat ran into one of those horrendous storms. Fear seized those
men. They feared for their lives. Yet, Jesus seemingly didn’t care. He was
exhausted and fast asleep. Fear pushed them to wake Jesus up. He worked
miracles before. Maybe he would work another. Or at least, help the disciples
maneuver the boat so that it wouldn’t capsize.

“Jesus, don’t you care that we are about to die.” Disturbed from his sleep, Jesus
calmed the wind; and with disappointment in his voice he said, “Why are you
afraid? Do you still have no faith?” “Don’t you believe that I care? And, more
importantly, that God loves and cares about you all?”

This morning, as a musical prelude to our worship, I played two hymns, one my
Mom’s favorite entitled, “I’d rather have Jesus”, and the other hymn, one of my
favorites, “It is well with my soul.” Horatio G. Spafford wrote the words to the
latter.

“When peace like a river attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll,
whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Some people are unshakeable in their faith. And some of us struggle because of
what we see happening in our world, how people are so selfish, so greedy, so

afraid of foreigners, so afraid of losing their power, so desperate that they will do
whatever they can to manipulate or abuse others to get their way.

I believe God hears us, I believe God is with us, I believe God loves us, and will
never let us go, even when we wonder and are afraid.

29 years ago today, on the morning of June 24 th , 1989 my life changed forever. On
that Saturday morning, at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Cherry Hill, New Jersey,
about 11 am, with family and friends in support, Bishop Vincent Pettit of the
Diocese of New Jersey along with a group of clergy laid their hands on my head,
shoulders and back, asking God’s Holy Spirit to make me a priest in God’s One
Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I can still feel the weight of their hands. It
was a feeling like nothing I’d experienced before that day.

Over the past 29 years, I’ve felt God’s Spirit guiding me and using me in sharing
God’s hope, showing the way to God’s love and joy. I’ve had the privilege of
serving the Church and meeting people outside the Church’s walls. I’ve celebrated
and mourned. I shared with others in their laughter and tears. I’ve prayed,
mediated, ached and cried. I’ve stared into the night’s sky, sometimes feeling very
much alone.

And, while I’ve wondered about God and God’s plans for me, the church’s I’ve
served and humanity, I’ve never doubted God’s love.

What am I trying to say with all of this?

It’s OK to look at the world and question. It’s OK to wonder. It’s OK to
recognize your fear and ask God to help you take control over it.
Faith is a confidence in God that grows over time. The disciples’ faith grew with
every adventure spent with Jesus, and when fear seized them, with Jesus’ help they
came to realized it, overcame it and finally helped the risen Jesus how the way to
God’s Kingdom of love.

Some people get faith and keep it. Others struggle with it. Some lose it. No
matter where we are on our faith journey, Jesus wants us to be believe and be
confident that we are loved and companioned through every day and every storm
by the life-giving Spirit of God.

When the winds of life and the events in our world batter you, believe, whether
you feel it or not, believe because God is with us, God loves you and me, and God
will never let us go it alone. And, somehow, someway, God is working to make
the world better – more loving – sometimes through you and me.

Jesus gave his life that we might be confident in God’s never-failing, self-giving
love for the world. Believe and help show others the way.