Friday, March 9 — Fear — Mark 6:47-56

“For they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’” 
    We encounter the disciples journeying to the “other side” once again. In this account, Jesus didn’t originally plan to join them, opting for a little solitude instead. But when a storm came, he recognized that they needed him. He went walking out on the water to the boat as it was tossed in the waves. When they saw him, they were terrified. They weren’t expecting him to be there. They weren’t expecting him to be able to walk on the water. Jesus often defied expectations and this was scary for some, including those who knew him best. 
    The disciples feared that which they couldn’t understand. They couldn’t understand how there was a person walking out on the sea. They were startled by expectations being defied. They were surprised and the only reasonable response for them was fear. How often does that happen in our society? We are like the disciples in this story. We get startled when Jesus shows up in a place or in a way that we don’t expect him. We get caught off guard when Jesus defies our expectations and often our first reaction is fear. Our fear is preventing us from seeing and experiencing Jesus in new, meaningful ways. 
    During our Lenten journey, we must reflect on how we are allowing our fear to dictate how we see and experience Jesus. How are you being surprised by God? How is God defying your expectations? Are you responding with fear or awe? 

Holy God, we admit that there are so many things we do not understand about you. There are so many ways that we miss your presence in our lives because we allow ourselves to be driven by fear. Come into our hearts and drive out the fear so that we can more fully commune with you. Amen.