When I came to Alaska, I had no idea they experienced so many earthquakes. There are numerous tremors daily. Many Alaskans have apps on their phones just to track the size and number of these events. In the fourteen months I’ve lived here, I have felt at least three earthquakes.
Along with the earthquakes, there are also a few active volcanos in the state. Last year, one of them blew several times, causing air travel disruptions and cancellations due to the ash plume. As you might expect, with these events also come tsunamis, and there have been several such warnings issued here in the past year.
There is nothing quite like the force and power of nature to help us begin to comprehend the power of God.
Today, the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Do we truly respect the name of Jesus? Do we call upon that Holy Name with trust and confidence; with faith?
In the Office of Readings today, the Church prayed Psalm 18. I could not help but recall how the psalmist and other biblical writers describe their visions of God with imagery from forces of nature. Keep this in mind as you read these passages:
I love you, Lord, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my savior.
The waves of death rose about me; the torrents of destruction assailed me;
The earth reeled and rocked;
The mountains were shaken to their base:
Smoke came forth from his nostrils and scorching fire from his mouth: coals set ablaze by its heat.
He lowered the heavens and came down, a black cloud under his feet.
He made the darkness his covering,
The bed of the ocean was revealed; the foundations of the world were laid bare at the thunder of your threat, O Lord
From on high he reached down and seized me; he drew me forth from the mighty waters. He snatched me from my powerful foe, from my enemies whose strength I could not match.
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness. With you I can break through any barrier; with my God I can scale any wall.
Who is not fearful when confronted and threatened by such natural events? even while at the same time being profoundly awed at the sight! Such is our experience of God – fear and awe! And this God became man in the person of Jesus, that we might know him, that our fear be accompanied by the knowledge of his deep love, mercy and fidelity.
It is Christ who calls everyone of us to follow him. In Christ we discover our truest identity and our vocation in life. This power of Christ is available to all who know him, follow him, and serve him. The power of Christ is at work to help us hear and answer his call, and be faithful in living it.
Consider prayerfully today the Holy Name of Jesus.
Believe that the power of Jesus, the strength of His Holy Name is also at work in our life, and ministry, and everything that we do in His Name.
Praised by Jesus Christ! Now and forever!