Date: February 2, 2020
This week we hear a reading from Matthew’s gospel. It begins with Jesus receiving the news that John the Baptist has been arrested, so he leaves the district and goes to Galilee where he continues his ministry.
In Capernaum we find Jesus ‘by the sea’. Some of us have lived ‘by the sea’: known of community’s influenced by the sea and what is in it, or under it. Some of us like to holiday ‘by the sea’: we take a break from our usual surroundings and responsibilities. The setting and pace of these verses from Matthew’s gospel create one of the most picturesque scenes in scripture. It reads or sounds like the travelogue of someone who describes a beautiful coastal holiday village and then highly recommends it for a visit. ‘Living by the lake…’, ‘walking by the sea...’, ‘men fishing in their boats…’, ‘men mending their nets…’
The setting is tranquil and interesting with plenty to see. Who would not want to holiday there, or even better live there for a while?
Yet, contrast this peaceful, steady setting with the strongly significant events that take place this week. Are they up for the challenge? Are we?