Friday, July 24, 2015
It seemed like we had just begun our journey, and now we were headed home.
After a week of dynamic speakers, powerful messages, electrifying (and loud!) music,
bright lights, colorful t-shirts,
manual labor in the hot sun, staying up late, getting up early, walking, walking, walking,
and more singing, more smiling, more high-fiving than you could even imagine,
everyone was exhausted.
The ELCA Youth Gathering had made its mark. I snapped a picture of the youth, collapsed and sleeping where ever they fell (see floor). And I wondered, what impact will this experience have on them in the days and weeks, even years to come? How much of it would stay with them?
This week in the lectionary the disciples will look on as Jesus turns 5 loaves and two fish into a feast for 5,000. After everyone had their fill, they themselves gathered up the leftovers—twelve baskets full! This miraculous feeding made such an impact on the authors of the gospels that we get 6 versions of this story in scripture. It was that amazing!
just a few hours later, in the boat, on their way home, the disciples are terrified to see Jesus walking toward them on the water. You would think that by now, after all they have witnessed, the disciples would expect to see powerful and astonishing things from Jesus. You would think that by now, they would recognize the power of God at work. By now, the disciples should get it—the possibilities are without limit in Jesus.
How quickly they have forgotten.
How quickly we all forget.
But Jesus does not punish, he does not criticize, he does not skip a beat.
He simply shows up and says,
“It is I (literally ‘I am’). Do not be afraid.”
And it won’t be the last time.