On the Lake

On the Lake and The Storm are two different dramas based on the same incident. The latter leaps straight into the action - full of the tension, danger and excitement. The former begins where the scripture passage ends - with the question of who Jesus is. The two were written on different occasions and have both been included here without any attempt at merging the accounts or reconciling the details. In both dramas it is important that the voices be raised above the storm and in urgency.
Lake Galilee was calm and peaceful, a good place to get away from the pressing crowds. The fishing boat was quietly cutting through the water. Jesus was fast asleep.
JAMES:Peter's boat is in good shape, John!
JOHN:Certainly is, James. No creaks and groans. Handles well in this light breeze.
JAMES:Performs well in heavy winds too, so Andrew tells me.
JOHN:Ever since the crowd came to hear Jesus teaching on the mountain, he has been flat out with people and their needs!
JAMES:I don't know how he keeps it up! It's good to see him getting some sleep now.
JOHN:It was incredible how quickly he went out to it!
JAMES:That's right! He gives people all his attention. Really feels deeply with them in their problems. There's never anything casual about healing someone. It's as if his whole personality is focussed on that one person!
JOHN:That's what makes it so exhausting! But if it was me, I'd keep mulling over it all for hours and never get off to sleep!
JAMES:It's as if - having given his all to people, he doesn't need to give them any more, just now. Certainly, he must need that sleep!
JOHN:You know, James, following Jesus is full of surprises. I'm beginning to wonder if we really know who he is!
JAMES:All those healings - right before our eyes!
JOHN:Well, that side of things is amazing, but...
JAMES:And the way he relates to people!
JOHN:I was thinking about some of the people - like the leper along the road...
JAMES:That was kind of scary - he actually touched him - and he was healed!
JOHN:And that Roman officer...
JAMES:He was willing to go into a Gentile house! Said he had never found anyone in Israel with faith like this!
JOHN:A leper and a Roman officer... Then when we were about to set off in the boat, a teacher of the Law comes and - with no special asking from Jesus, like us - says he wants to follow Jesus wherever he goes!
JAMES:And Jesus didn't grab him and encourage him. Gave him some tough facts - wonder if we'll ever see him again!
JOHN:Can't you see what I'm trying to say, James? A leper and a Roman officer are helped. A teacher of the Law is faced with the toughness of following Jesus!
JAMES:He is different, John! And just look at us - an unlikely collection of disciples for any Rabbi! I wonder who he'll call next.
JOHN:Hey, look at the water over there! A storm's brewing!
JAMES:Nothing Peter can't handle! Choppier than I've seen it in a long time, though!
(speaking with louder voices)
JOHN:A dangerous one! We'll have trouble making it - look at those waves!
JAMES:We're starting to ship water! I'll help Peter and Andrew get the rigging down. You go get Jesus!
JOHN: He's still asleep!
JAMES:Well wake him then! We need his help too!
Help? What help? To fasten the rigging? To start bailing? To try to balance the boat against the fury of the storm? How could Jesus help the experts at their own game? But the situation was desperate. We read what Jesus did in Mark 4.39-41.
Reader:Mark 4.39-41.

From Between the Lines. Dialogues for Worship by Peter J. Blackburn published by Testimonium Fellowship 1992, (c) Peter J. Blackburn.
Permission is given for copying of this document for local use with this copyright notice intact. For any other proposed use the specific permission of Peter J. Blackburn must be sought.

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