Today, as we look around ourselves at all the boats around our island in San Diego, I want to talk for a few minutes about a detail included in Mark 4:36, that there are also other boats on the water with Jesus during the big storm. Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s gospels all tell this story, but only Mark adds this extra detail. If these boats left the shore at the same time as Jesus, I imagine that there was a combination of people in the boats. Some of them already believed and followed Jesus, some of them wondered and wanted to know more, some might have been hoping to get close enough to Jesus to be healed, and many of them were probably afraid during the storm. As Jesus calmed the storm and we hear the reaction of the disciples, I think it’s kind of fun to imagine what the reaction might have been from the people in the other little boats. When the power of Jesus calmed the storm for the big boat, it also calmed for the people all around.
As we welcome our families, we know that they are coming from all kinds of places. We know that they are all facing a storm. Some of our families might already believe and follow Jesus, some might be open to knowing more and some of them are probably afraid. Thankfully, it’s not our job to calm storms, but God can use our willingness to serve to calm the storms of our families for a little while this weekend.