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Saturday, 9 April 

"Jesus said: 'It is I - do not be afraid'"

Scripture: John 6:16-21

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, but he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
 

Meditation

Does the Lord Jesus ever seem distant to you? When John recounted the scene of the apostles being alone at sea in a storm he described the situation as "dark" (John 6:17). It was dark not only physically but spiritually as well. Although they were experienced fishermen, they were fearful for their lives. The Lord's sudden presence - and his supernatural ability to walk towards them on top of the rough waves of the sea - only made them more fearful! John says they were frightened. And Jesus had to calm them with a reassuring command: "Do not be afraid because I am here with you!"

Aren't we like the apostles when we experience moments of darkness, fear, and trials? While the Lord may at times seem absent or very distant to us, he, nonetheless, is always present and close-by. The Scriptures remind us that the Lord is "a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Whatever storms may beset us, he promises to "bring us to our desired haven" and place of calm rest and safety (Psalm 107:29-30). The Lord keeps watch over us at all times, and especially in our moments of temptation and difficulty. Do you rely on the Lord for his strength and help? Jesus assures us that we have no need of fear if we put our trust in him and in his great love and care for us. When calamities or trials threaten to overwhelm you, how do you respond? With faith and hope in God's love, personal care, and presence with you?


"Lord Jesus, may I never doubt your saving help and your watchful presence in my life, especially in times of trouble. Fortify my faith with courage and give me enduring hope that I may never waver in my trust in you."
 

Psalm 33:1-5, 18-19

Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise 
     befits the upright. 
Praise the LORD with the lyre, make melody to 
     him with the harp of ten strings! 
Sing to him a new song, play skillfully on the 
     strings, with loud shouts. 
For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his 
     work is done in faithfulness. 
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is 
     full of the steadfast love of the LORD. 
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear 
     him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, 
that he may deliver their soul from death, and 
     keep them alive in famine.

 

Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers

"God sent the human race a physician, a savior, One Who healed without charging a fee. Christ also came to reward those who would be healed by Him. Christ heals the sick, and He makes a gift to those whom He heals. And the gift that He makes is Himself!" (Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D., excerpt from Sermon 102,2)

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Daily Meditations by Don Schwager are originally published at http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/index.html.