‘Out into the deep’ – new song on Mark 4:35-41

Last Sunday the lectionary gospel reading was Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4.

I was reading a book by Mark Chapman, a minister up the road in Clevedon – writing on Jesus’ call to the disciples, ‘Come and I will make you fishers of men.’

Mark reinterpreted that to speak about ‘fishing in deep waters’ for those ‘out of their depths.’ He wrote about our eagerness to stay in the shallows, and Jesus’ eagerness to take us out into the open water, or ‘where fear and freedom meet’ – as I wrote in this song.

At St Paul’s we ended up realising that the storm is not the problem, and the calm is not the solution. Both the disciples uneasiness (to put it mildly) and their peace actually come from Jesus. The weather simply echoes what is going on inside them as they encounter Jesus – although we’re left with them still caught in a storm of doubt and questioning. The storm is not their biggest problem – who Jesus is is. The calm will not be their greatest source of peace, sorting out the ‘who is Jesus’ question will do that, or if not sorting it out, at least continuing to wonder at it, rather than come up with cheap answers to dilute the mystery.

Its almost as if Jesus knows that both the storm and the calm have the ability to separate people from God. The storm makes us think God has left us. The calm makes us think we are safe to leave God. In many ways, both are distractions from the far more important question – ‘who is this, even the wind and the waves obey him?’ And yet, if it weren’t for them, that question would never get voiced. Wonder of wonders.

Hope you enjoy the song. Lyrics are below.

Draw us from the shallows
Out into the deep
Our faith was weak and hollow
But its strengthened in our need
Though the waters overwhelm us
Though the shore be lost from sight
From the storm you call forth stillness
From the darkness you call light

Even the wind and the waves will listen to your voice
O speak your love and your grace and calm the storm within

Lead us from the certain into your mystery;
With fearless love abounding
You ride the raging sea
Though the waters overwhelm us
Though the shore be far away
You walk on waves to find us
Your hands reach out to save

Even the wind and the waves will listen to your voice
O speak your love and your grace and calm the storm within

Out far beyond the headland where fear and freedom meet
The drowning and the dying, you haul us to our feet
Though the water overwhelm us
Though the shore is far behind
Drifting daughters you will rescue
Shipwrecked son you will find

Even the wind and the waves will listen to your voice
O speak your love and your grace and calm the storm within

AUTHOR: Malcolm Gordon
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