You know how it is. You hear (or read) the opening of a scripture passage in a daily reading, and you immediately race ahead and fill in the blanks. Then maybe you zone out a little.
"Oh yeah," you say to yourself, "this is the lost sheep one... one goes missing but the Shepherd finds it." Then you're free to wander until standing or music brings you back into focus again.
Ok, ok, I'm sure that never happens to you. I should have made it personal and written only of myself. I admit I do it a lot.
Yesterday's Gospel was from Mark 6: 45-52. After the crowds were sent away, Jesus went up the mountain to pray and the others went out in a boat. A storm came up and they began to fret. And then came Jesus, walking on the water. He was going to pass them by, Mark writes, but they called to Him and He got into the boat.
I'd never really payed attention to that bit before: He was going to pass them by. He wasn't necessarily walking on water in order to go to them and comfort them. To me, this sounds like walking on water - and who knows what other marvelous and miraculous physical feats - was something He performed for no particular reason, as a matter of course, or for His own enjoyment. There are so many details of His daily life before and during His ministry years that we don't know. To think of Him praying on His own and then... la di dah... walking on water, strikes me as fun-loving and exuberant. He went into the storm, and I get that. Don't you get a rush from the intensity of nature showing off?
I may not have had the wisdom or the faith to have recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah, but I know I would have wanted to spend time with a man who walked on water and chased the wind.