Reflection, GOD IS EXHAUSTED, Daniel P. Amsler
CHC 5:30 pm Contemplative Service, 6/24/18, Mark 4:35-41
A few months ago here at Holy Communion, Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, spoke to us. For 30 years he has directed the largest and most effective ministry/enterprise to the nation’s largest gang region.
In his ministry, Father Boyle has conducted thousands of Masses in detention centers and jails. He always has one of the inmates serve with him in the Mass. One morning, a young man, participating for the first time, sat behind Father Boyle, speaking in a harsh whisper as he tried to master the Scripture he was to read. When it was his time to read, he was to begin with the phrase,
“God is exalted!” What he instead said was, “GOD IS EXHAUSTED!” Father Boyle said, “he got it just right.” GOD IS EXHAUSTED.
Our text says: “…(Jesus) was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.” GOD IS EXHAUSTED. “And a great storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling up.” And he was asleep on a cushion. GOD IS EXHAUSTED. “And (the disciples) woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care if we perish?”
Sure, GOD IS EXHAUSTED, but we are dying here.
“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was great calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”
GOD IS EXHAUSTED…because the disciples keep forgetting who he is. Is our God exhausted because we keep forgetting who he is?
Could we find a more powerful example of the wonderful whopper than Jesus is fully human and fully divine? The Exhausted God goes to sleep on a cushion at the stern…but the Exalted God, “Through whom all things were made,” as the Creed says, wakes up to say to the stormed tossed sea, “Peace! Be still!”
And it was so.
Is our God exhausted? Maybe it is because we so often forget who He is. Apparently, God does not come into our boat and storms any time and all the time and just take care of it. Our patient, gracious God waits for us to try, in faith, to trust Him to do with us and for us what He in love and wisdom wills.
(Editor's note: Parishioners and other lay people often give the reflection during the contemplative 5:30 p.m. service on Sunday. Daniel Amsler is a longtime member of Church of the Holy Communion.)