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April 14, 2018 - Give It Time

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

Scripture Readings

I get the impression that the events of today’s gospel -- Christ walking on water -- weren’t shared openly until later in Christ’s ministry, if not after his death and resurrection.  I have no concrete scriptural evidence for this, but the precedent exists.  All throughout Mark there is the Messianic secret and after the transfiguration the apostles are sworn to secrecy.  But why this passage?

This event is flanked by two significant events, the feeding of the multitude and the bread of life discourse.  The former, the splendor of miraculously feeding the crowds, could have overshadowed this late night miracle.  The latter, the disappointment of seeing so many walk away from Christ after the bread of life discourse, could have taken power from today's miracle.  This, of course, is all speculation, but there is a larger point to be made about our encounters with the Lord.

See, whether the Apostles told others about this night right away is less significant than the truth that sometimes we need to wait to tell others.  Sometimes we have an encounter with Christ that we need to dwell on longer before we can describe it to another person.  This is a healthy thing.  It can help preserve the encounter as we sort through what we experienced.  This is particularly helpful when our experience contained ‘indescribable moments.’  We need to let those moments speak to our soul before we constrain them in the limits of human language.

This hardly means we shouldn’t have Christian fellowship or spiritual direction.  Rather, this Saturday, I believe we are invited to briefly examine what has happened in our lives recently.  We should ask the Lord to reveal where we encountered him.  If we can find one of those barely touched memories of encounter, we should spend some time in prayer with it.  We should dwell upon it.  Then, when we are ready, we should share that encounter in a fashion similar to how the Apostles did after the Lord’s Resurrection.

- Spencer Hargadon