If you darkened the door of a Sunday School classroom during your childhood, you probably know this story. This well-known passage, the “calming the storm” story of Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee, is one of those stories that are not terribly flattering to the disciples. Jesus’ closest followers come across as a tiny bit panicky. On this side of the storm, we’re a little embarrassed for them by the fuss they are making.Read More
Articles posted by Karen Stiller
Putting out the Welcome Mat
What the demons seem to know, the people in this story don’t. Or they choose to ignore. As Jesus and his disciples – recovered from their rough trip across the lake – continue their journey on the safety of dry land, they encounter what must have been a terrifying scene. Two men with demons who were so fierce no one could travel that way.Read More demons, welcome, God’s Son
Picking up our Mats
This passage reflects a crucial, game-changing moment in Jesus’ ministry. He publically forgives the sins of a crippled man, then heals his physical condition as well. The man is told to pick up his mat and go home.
By declaring his right and ability to forgive sins, Jesus equated himself with God.Read More forgiveness, miracle, home
Despite the Farmer
I always thought I would like gardening. Until I became master over some gardens. Then I quickly realized how labour-intensive it is, how on-your-knees it must be, how the dirt jams in under your fingernails and stays for quite some time. Perhaps because I am not a natural gardener, but a sweaty, hot, grumbling gardener, everything that grows under my imperfect watch is a miracle, worthy of celebration.Read More Kingdom of God, soil, seeds
Which seed are you?
Hear and welcome. That’s what the people of the good ground do, those seeds that fell, grew, bloom and spread.
So, how do we hear and welcome God’s call on our lives? And God’s word in our lives?
Part of the answer is found in Jesus’ patient explanation of this parable to his disciples, about what happened to the other seeds that were sown.Read More worry, seeds, roots, distraction, ambition
How the Kingdom Grows
There is a beautiful inevitability in Jesus’ teaching in this passage. Light shines. The hidden is found. Seeds sprout. Sometimes to amazing and unexpected lengths. And the Kingdom does come, whether we think so or not.
It is quite easy, especially in the North American Church, to question the church’s relevance to our culture.Read More faith, kingdom, transformation @en
When We’re on a Sinking Ship
One reason youth leave the Church is because they do not feel they have experienced God, especially in the area of answered prayer. That is what a recent Canadian report called “Hemorrhaging Faith: Why and When Young Canadians are Leaving, Staying and Returning to the Church” says.
In my work as a journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to interview some thinkers around this topic of unanswered prayer.Read More unanswered prayer, storms, reality, answered prayer
The Power of an Everyday Christian
In Mark’s telling of this story of Jesus casting out demons from a man into a herd of pigs, we see details about what happened after the townspeople begged Jesus to leave their part of the country.
The people beg him to go. The man begs Jesus to take him along. What dramatically different responses to Jesus’ demonstration of power over evil.Read More obedience, witness, envy
Peace may be the Greatest Healing
This is a passage full of healing. First Jairus, whose daughter is dying. Jesus is on his way to see her, presumably to heal her, when their journey is briefly interrupted. A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years—a humiliating and socially ostracizing condition, touches his garment. “If I can just touch his clothes, I will get well,” she says. And that is exactly what happened.Read More healing, peace
The Long Wait
“God’s timing is not our timing.” We have probably all heard that sentence, sometimes used to comfort; often it may just be frustrating.
Here we see it played out in a life and death drama. Jesus is on his way to Jairus’ house to tend to his dying daughter. The bleeding woman who is healed by her faith and her touch of Jesus’ clothing interrupts Jesus on the way there.Read More life, trust, miracle, timing