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Peace, be still ...

Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

— Mark 4:36-39 (New King James Version)

A trip to the Sea of Galilee is never complete without a good fish tale. It only takes one stop at St. Peter’s Fish Restaurant to understand the attraction to the fishing industry and to the taste of fresh fish from the Sea. Here fishermen bring in the daily catch for the crowds that gather to eat the famous fish from St. Peter’s. Not a fan of fish, I try to find other things to order, but at St. Peter’s, you simply order the fish, and your choices are with or without the head attached. We get the fish, not battered, but fried in oil and served hot with sides that are not meant to do anything but complement the main course.

After lunch, a quiet boat ride on the sea is the perfect way to settle a great meal. It’s no wonder that the disciples liked being on the sea as much as possible. It’s quiet and breezy, with the sun ducking in and out behind the clouds Clouds can appear without much warning, and the winds can change quickly from calm to strong, making the water quickly become choppy as we drift on the water in a boat with the engines turned off. Closing our eyes, we think about the time when Jesus went out in a boat with his friends, resting in the back of the boat until a squall made the boat ride treacherous. Then as the winds calm once again, we can almost hear the words of Jesus, “Peace, be still” as he calms the storm on the sea and the storm of fear in the hearts of the disciples.

As I look back over the pictures and remember the peace of the sea, I think of the places in my own life even now where I need to hear those familiar words of Jesus calmiing my storms.

Where do you need to know the peace of Christ in your life? Close your eyes and trust him to speak to your heart those words that bring relief: “Peace, be still.”

Rev. Jan McCoy is the Associate Pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at or at