“Grant, we beseech you, merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve you with a quiet mind” (from today’s collect)
“And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your
right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’” (Mark 10.37)

THERE WAS much noise in the minds of James and John, whom Jesus nicknamed ‘Boanerges’ (Sons of Thunder). Jesus loved these fishermen for their passion and rawness but in our reading from Mark today they mirror some of the noises in all our minds – the conscious/unconscious programmes of competitive societies, the conscious/unconscious neediness for attention, security, notoriety, recognition, acceptance, wealth, power and so much more.
James and John have been with Jesus some time now and experienced the highs and lows of life on the road with the charismatic Christ, loved by outcasts, opposed by the rich and powerful. They have come to understand deep inside that the power of God is with them in this Christ, though their minds struggle hopelessly to make sense of how and why. But their guts and hearts sense without doubt that the religious and secular powers that rule their material lives are nothing in relation to the power this Jesus of Nazareth embodies and their minds can only equate that with his inevitable coming into recognized dominion as king of the world. James and John simply want to claim their reward and be sure of prime seats when the kingdom comes to pass, as it surely soon will. Jesus quietens the thundering minds of his students and gives them hochma, Wisdom, just like Yahweh speaking silence out of the whirlwind in Job’s mind in our OT reading this morning.
In today’s collect we ask God to give us “quiet mind” and so be able to serve God. Our minds are assaulted now more than ever by incessant, demanding media even before the noises of our own egos kick in. But God is the same now as God was in First Century Galilee, 1st/2nd Century BC when Job was written or any other time in history. Beneath the thunder and the whirlwind, when we make the space and stop, breathe, be still, pray without words, there is a still small voice in each one of us. It is the voice of Christ, Jahweh, All That Is, and it says, “Do not be afraid. I love you. Despite all the programmes that distract you, I AM.”


~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on October 20, 2018.

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