Don’t be surprised by the storms we encounter when we take the Gospel to the regions beyond.

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Rembrandt Christ in the Storm on the Lake of GalileeThis weekend as we observe Juneteenth as a federal holiday for the first time in American history, and celebrate the month long observance of Pride, we have a Gospel reading about the storms on the Sea of Galilee. 

Tertullian first noted that these storms arose as the disciples were crossing to Gentile lands, under the control of the Roman Empire. He remarked that the Church in those days experienced conflict and persecution as it sought to include people who had been previously excluded from the promises made to the Children of Abraham. I find that his wondering about that image till have power and meaning today as our denomination and others work to bring people previously excluded from the full participation in the Church and in Society into new and restored relationships.

Jesus is with the disciples in the boat as they cross the stormy sea then and Jesus is with us now. And still we struggle with having faith to believe that his presence provides all that we need when the winds howl and seas surge.