23 June 2024


Ordinary Time (Proper 7)

Mark 4:35-41

Calm to the Waves


Additional Scriptures

1 Samuel 17:1a, 4-11, 19-23, 32-49; Psalm 9:9-20; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Doctrine and Covenants 163:3


Recruit two leaders for the Scripture Focus Moment.

The theme hymn, “Calm to the Waves,” CCS 158, will be used throughout the service. If this is unfamiliar to your group, spend some time learning it before the service starts.


Gathering Praise

“Standing on the Promises”                                                                                       
CCS 257

OR “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”                                                                        
CCS 16


We come today to praise God and calm our fears. As we worship, may our storms be stilled, bringing calm to the waves.

We Sing Our Calm

“Calm to the Waves”  Sing at least twice                                                                 
CCS 158             

Scripture Focus Moment  See below.

Prayer for Peace

Light the Peace Candle.

Meditation Question 

Print or project question for all to see.
            “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith!” —Mark 4:40

Play audio sounds of calm waves as participants meditate.

Some possibilities:

  • Mixkit.co/free-sound-effects/waves
  • OR Zapsplat.com/sound-effect-category/ocean


Slowly read “Eternal God Transcending Time,” CCS 59, Stanza 1,and add an Amen.

We Sing Our Peace

“Calm to the Waves”  Sing at least twice.                                                     
CCS 158

Disciples’ Generous Response

In the liturgical Christian calendar during Ordinary Time, there are many scriptures that deal with gratitude. Today’s lectionary scripture, 2 Corinthians 6:13, ends with, “…open wide your hearts…”


Share a testimony of a time when you were blessed to open wide your heart to another’s need or when someone else opened their heart to your need.


Small Groups

Share with one another a time when you were blessed to open wide your heart to another’s need or when someone else opened their heart to your need.


As we share our mission tithes either by placing money in the plates or through eTithing, use this time to thank God for the many gifts received in life. Our hearts grow aligned with God’s when we gratefully receive and faithfully respond by living Christ’s mission.

If your congregation is meeting online, remind participants they can give through CofChrist.org/give or eTithing at eTithing.org (consider showing these URLs on screen).

Blessing and Receiving of Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes

Scripture and Song

Scripture Reading:      Doctrine and Covenants 163:3a

Response:  “Calm to the Waves"  CCS 158

Scripture Reading:      Doctrine and Covenants 163:3b

Response:  “Calm to the Waves"  CCS 158

Scripture Reading:      Doctrine and Covenants 163:3c

Response:  “Calm to the Waves"  CCS 158


Based on Mark 4:35-41 

Scripture Focus Moment  See below.

Repeat this enactment of today’s scripture.    

Congregational Hymn

“My Life Flows On in Endless Song”                                                                       
CCS 263

OR “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”                                                                        
CCS 554

 Benediction Responsive Reading

Leader:            God, you touch us like the wind. In gentle silence your Spirit often hovers near. Sometimes you sweep into our lives like a mighty storm, purging our souls of the secret sins that wall us off from your grace.

People:            Spirit of God, touch us with power.

Leader:            Like a soft rain, you wash away our sorrow, God. You leave us clean as a spring morning. Our sin-parched souls are made new by the refreshment of your pardon.

People:            Spirit of God, transform us with hope.

Leader:            Like the voice of a loved one, you calm our fears. We remember who we are, whose we are, and profess our faith in you, ever-present God.

People:            Spirit of God, empower us to trust in your faithfulness, even in our times of storm. When we are vulnerable, help us remember to turn toward you.

ALL                Amen.

We Sing Our Response

“Calm to the Waves”                                                                                                 
CCS 158

Sending Forth

Go forth and share the Peace of Jesus Christ. 



Scripture Focus Moment

Recruit an energetic, dramatic person for the Motion Leader and a Scripture Reader. The Motion Leader will direct the congregation to create the environment and “noises” of this scripture story while it is read by the Scripture Reader. Suggestions for the activity are listed but be creative and have fun with it!


You can create thunder using a large sheet of aluminum. The congregation could be divided into groups that are assigned particular sounds or actions (finger snaps, claps, etc.). The whole enactment could be repeated, using the first time through as “practice.”


Congregation stands.

Motion Leader/Congregation:            Sway back and forth like a gentle boat ride.

Scripture Reading: Mark 4:35-36

Motion Leader/Congregation:            Create gentle rain noises (finger snaps, hand claps, shhhhhhh sounds, etc.)

Scripture Reading: Mark 4:37-38a

Motion Leader/Congregation:            Grow the storm noises (louder claps, slap thighs, stomp feet, create a thunder sound); get louder and louder.

Continue the heavy storm sounds and actions through the next two verses with an abrupt signal to silence all sound at the end of Verse 39, “there was a dead calm.”

Scripture Reading: Mark 4:38b-39

Motion Leader/Congregation:            Resume initial swaying, with calmness.

Scripture Reading: Mark 40-41




Year B—Letters

Ordinary Time (Proper 6)

Mark 4:35–41


Exploring the Scripture

In Mark 4:35–41, Jesus crosses the Sea of Galilee with his disciples. It is the first of four crossings (Mark 4:35–41, 5:21, 6:45–52, and 8:13). Jesus is teaching and ministering on both sides of the Sea of Galilee, among Jews and Gentiles. The two longest passages, today’s reading and the story of walking on the water in chapter 8, are linked by a common theme: Jesus’ power over the sea and wind. In both, the disciples fear and wonder about Jesus.

After a long day of teaching Jesus leaves the multitude to cross the Sea of Galilee to Gentile territory with his disciples. Other boats accompanied the journey. Mark does not tell us who was in them and does not mention the other boats again. One possibility is that Mark is providing credibility. Others had been on the sea that day and can testify to the storm and sudden calm. Another possibility is that Mark is expanding the story to include all people who experience life’s storms, not just Jesus’ disciples.

The storm arose quickly, as storms still do in that area. Details paint the picture clearly in our minds. Waves “beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped” (v. 37). Jesus was “in the stern, asleep on the cushions” (v. 38). In fear of their lives, the disciples wake Jesus with phrases that contradict one another. On the one hand, they call him “teacher,” showing respect, loyalty, and devotion. On the other hand, they question his loyalty and devotion to them: “Do you not care…?” (v. 38).

The contrast between Jesus resting in trust and the disciples struggling with fear and confusion speaks to the hearer about the nature of faith in God. The violence of the storm may recall the watery chaos preceding creation in Genesis 1:2. God took control of that stormy chaos and brought about order. Psalm 89:9 and Job 38:8–11, as well as other passages in the Hebrew Scriptures, repeat the assurance that God controls nature and can bring calm and order. Mark affirms Jesus as God’s Son by relating how Jesus, as God’s agent, also commands natural forces, and brings order.

Like the episodes of exorcising demons, Jesus “rebukes” the wind and commands the sea to be silent and calm. His words are translated as “Peace! Be still!” in the NRSV Bible. The original Greek words were strong and powerful, echoing with authority. With that same authority, Jesus then turns and rebukes the disciples for their lack of trust and their fear. Ironically, Jesus’ power over the storm does not dispel their fear. The scene ends with the disciples still fearful— this time of Jesus himself. That fear resurfaces in the coming scene, when Jesus walks to them on the waves. They still do not understand who Jesus is.

Those who heard the Gospel of Mark were similarly challenged to declare their trust and confidence in the Son of God, rather than retreat in fear when storms come. Jesus’ power is always greater than the storm for those who believe and trust. But the closing question in Mark 4:41 continues to haunt Jesus’ followers today: “Who is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?”


Central Ideas

  1. Jesus was teaching and ministering to Jews and Gentiles regularly.
  2. God, the Creator, is not identical with creation. God has power over nature and can bring order from chaos.
  1. Mark presents Jesus as God’s agent, able to rebuke the storm and wind and bring calm.
  2. That same power can bring calm amid destruction in our everyday lives. We are challenged to trust and believe.

Questions for the Speaker

  1. When have you felt like God didn’t know or care about your problems? What did you do to try to wake God up?
  2. When have you been overwhelmed with fear? How did trust and peace return?
  3. Whom do you say that Jesus is? Why do you believe that?
  4. How does hidden fear continue to color your belief?




Year B Letters

Ordinary Time, Proper 7

2 Corinthians 6:1–13 NRSVUE




Ordinary Time is the period in the Christian calendar from Pentecost to Advent. This period is without major festivals or holy days. During Ordinary Time we focus on our discipleship as individuals and a faith community.

Prayer for Peace

Ring a bell or chime three times slowly.

Light the peace candle.

Today’s Prayer for Peace is inspired by the hymn: “When the Poor Ones,” Community of Christ Sings, 290, by José A. Olivar and Miguel Manzano.

When we know that love for simple things is better,
then we know that God still goes the road with us,
Then we know that God still goes that road with us.

God of the road, our world is filled with poor ones. The poor in spirit, the poor in health, the poor in love, the poor in food. At times, it feels so lonely and hopeless. How can we help all the poor ones? How can we help when we, ourselves, feel like the poor ones?

Then we remember that you bless the poor in spirit! The poor in health show us how to care for one another. The poor in love show us how to love others. The poor in food share generously, leading the way for us all. This is the work of peace. This is the work of your church. This is the work of your people.

May we cultivate love for the simple things. May we be willing to be comforted and led by the poor ones. And may we keep watch for you on the road with us.

In the name of Jesus, who walks with us on the road to peace. Amen.

Spiritual Practice

Holy Listening

Today we focus on the Enduring Principle of All Are Called. We believe all people have unique giftedness, and we are given opportunities in community to share our giftedness with one another. By practicing Holy Listening, we can learn more about the gifts people share in community, how they feel called to serve, and how we can support one another in discipleship and ministry.

Ask the person next to you to join you in conversation. Find a spot in the room to get comfortable and face one another. Take turns sharing what you see as your giftedness and how you feel called to share it. It can be anything: friendship, music, compassion, reading aloud, laughter, or tidying up. You each will have three minutes to share. During this time the listener will just listen and nod, but not comment. At the end of the three minutes, the listener may respond with this one sentence. “I noticed that….” Then switch places and repeat.

Before you start this exercise, please repeat this prayer with me: “Help me be wholly present to this human being.”

You may begin your conversation.

Start the timer. After three minutes let the listeners say the one-sentence response and then ask them to switch places. Start the timer again.

When everyone has shared, ask the group to respond to the experience with this spiritual practice.

Sharing Around the Table

2 Corinthians 6:1–13 NRSVUE

As we work together with him, we entreat you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,

“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
    and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: in great endurance, afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; in purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors and yet are true, as unknown and yet are well known, as dying and look—we are alive, as punished and yet not killed, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing and yet possessing everything.

We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections but only in yours. In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also.

The Corinthian church was in discord because of conflicts, factions, and selfishness. Paul calls the Corinthians to center on Christ instead of themselves and reconcile their differences. They are to act as ambassadors of Christ, instead of promoting their own spirituality or knowledge.

Paul quotes from a Servant Song in Isaiah 49 to help them understand the seriousness of their divisions. He stresses that the time to listen and accept the message of salvation is now, today, without fail. Paul outlines his credentials as an ambassador. He serves as a model of behavior for the Corinthians to follow by offering servant ministry.

Paul speaks of the persecutions he endured in his witness of Christ. This list provides a powerful witness to the variety of persecutions he and his coworkers have endured that have made their ministry even more effective.

He continues with a summary of apostolic gifts that have kept him strong and true. Paul is not bragging. He is faithfully reporting his actions and attitudes as reflections of the power of God rather than himself. In so doing, he is trying to form the Corinthian community of believers into servant ministers, willing to give up comfort, safety, and divisiveness to proclaim Christ and live as ambassadors for God.

Paul upholds his integrity, transparency, resilience, and joy. He considers himself rich when he has nothing because he knows Christ. He can give this wealth to others through his witness.

He ends by declaring that he and his coworkers have opened their hearts to the Corinthians. In return, he asks them to open their hearts and receive his affection, his authority and ministry, and the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


  1. What kind of divisions or conflicts have you experienced that need to be reconciled?
  2. What does it mean to be an ambassador for Christ?
  3. How much do you care about what others think of you? How has it affected your faith journey or ministry?


Generosity Statement

Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed.

—Doctrine and Covenants 165:6a

The offering basket is available if you would like to support ongoing, small-group ministries as part of your generous response.

The offering prayer is adapted from A Disciple’s Generous Response:

Discipling God, as we navigate our world of debt and consumerism, help us save wisely, spend responsibly, and give generously. In this way may we prepare for the future and create a better tomorrow for our families, friends, the mission of Christ, and the world. Amen.

Invitation to Next Meeting

Closing Hymn

Community of Christ Sings 236, “God! When Human Bonds Are Broken”

Closing Prayer


Optional Additions Depending on Group

  • Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
  • Thoughts for Children


Thoughts for Children

You will need:

  • a larger container of a drink that can be shared; needs a tight lid
  • cups

Say: Today, I would like to share something with you.

Set cups in front of each person and reveal the drink you brought to share. With the lid still on, begin trying to pour liquid into each cup. When it doesn’t come out, look confused.

Ask: Why am I not able to pour any liquid into your cups? (Affirm responses.)

Say: So, because the lid is closed on my container, I cannot share the liquid with you. What if you tried to pour something into my container while the lid was closed? Would you be able to? (Affirm responses).

Just like my container needs to be open for me to give or receive liquid, our hearts need to be open to give and receive God’s love. If our hearts are not open, we might miss opportunities to share God’s love with others.

Open your container and begin to pour.

Say: As you drink from your cup, remember to let your heart be open to give and receive God’s love.

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