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Peace, Be Still

Peace, Be Still

Mark 4:35-41

Peace, be still.

It is the time of year that darkness descends like a curtain on the ground only reluctantly, when the long days stretch indolently like a satisfied cat. This is the time of year when the lure of the outdoors exercises a mesmerizing hold on those of us who love summer. As I sit outside among the ferns and hostas, you can almost watch new fiddleheads unroll frond by frond, like gears. The thrum of life rises up from the tree roots, a basso profundo droning song you can feel in your bones. Slow down. Pinpoint the moment when twilight descends to gloaming and then descends and kicks over into night.

Peace, be still.

I was sitting outside the other night, studying, until finally the lack of light here at Sewanee drove me inside. As I looked up from my text, and started to gather my things, I was stopped to see that fireflies were dancing around me under the broad oak that had been my place of respite in the summer heat. They were putting on a show just for me—and for the objects of their affection, of course. Their dance swirled on the current of these words as the Spirit breathed them across my skin:

Peace, be still.

This Sunday, Jesus will speak these words in response to the terror of his friends in a boat in a storm. His assurance stills the storm raging around them—and within their trembling hearts. Whether this day we encounter joy, memories of loss, the weight of tasks that seem daunting, or a crisis to prevail over, Jesus urges us to start by remembering that the most beautiful melody of accompaniment is that of our Beloved Jesus, his words a soothing caress and support for whatever we encounter.

Peace, be still.

The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire is a writer, musician, and a priest in the Diocese of Missouri. She is rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Ellisville, MO.  She posts daily prayers, meditations, and sermons at her blog Abiding In Hope, and collects spiritual writings and images at Poems, Psalms, and Prayers.

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