The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
I wonder if we appreciate the labor of Jesus and his disciples? In John chapter 6 the first thing they seem to have done in a day is to arrive on a mountainside. Possibly they had rowed across the Sea of Galilee earlier in the day. They were confronted with a situation and surely spent hours distributing food to the group of people. It takes some time to get about 5000 people to sit down, to bring food to all of them, and then to tidy up the area. No doubt it took a good bit of explanation as well. Jesus then went away and, after waiting for him for some time, the disciples got into a boat to cross the sea. This was difficult work. They were rowing. There were rough water conditions due to the wind. It was night time. They had gone several miles. Now they were surprised to see Jesus walking to them on the water. Is he a ghost? are they actually lost somewhere and near the shore? Maybe they have gone mad from the fatigue!
Jesus does not explain himself to them. He tells them not to fear. He gets into the boat and they find themselves at the shore where they were intending to go. In fact, they found they didn’t need to fear.
The Christian life is sometimes very difficult. It is full of hard work. Sometimes we can work all day and not seem to accomplish anything. Sometimes we finish a hard day’s work and then begin laboring into the night. Jesus tells his people not to fear. He is with them. And time after time we find that Jesus was absolutely right. He never fails his people.
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