12 August 2014
I really do like preaching.
It’s an honour to speak on behalf of my God and hopefully bring enlightenment and inspiration to all those that get to hear my little words.
So I am going to follow the lectionary* over the next few posts.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I; don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
(Matthew 14: 22 – 23)
(A few thoughts: some I heard from the sermon on Sunday, and some are my own.)
First of all; what is your story?
I really wish I could ask that more often of people. A few weeks back, one of my ministers suggested that the work of the church should be “sitting in coffee shops hearing the stories of others.”
That really resonated with me. Yeah, I like coffee.
But the very fact that EVERYONE HAS A STORY.
Sadly, many struggle with answering that question: “What is your story?”
They mumble and stutter a FALSE excuse… “I don’t have a story!”
Pardon me, that’s nonsense!
(If you want to share your story with me. Feel free to contact me. I want to hear it.)
So, this week’s text, Peter has a story.
Just one part of his story would be: “I once walked on water with Jesus.”
Not bad for a story!
So about the incident. Jesus SEES the boat on the water. He SEES it a long way off… and knows He is going to have to walk on the water to get to it.
The disciples in the boat in the darkness could represent: our lives in darkness (a difficult time.)
I am not sure what your “boat” is? What hard time you’re going through. But Jesus does. He SEES it. He SEES you… a long way off!
Second thing. Peter gets mocked for denying Jesus, for being so rash in his actions (cutting a man’s ear off); however he is the ONLY disciple to step out of the boat.
He was willing to take a STEP OF FAITH.
There is a certain title of a book that goes: “If you want to walk on the water, you have to step out of the boat.”
Perhaps, some of you reading today; are ‘stuck’ in the boat? You’re not willing to get out?
What are of your life may that be? Where you need to ACTUALLY take a step of faith!
“Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out his hand” (Casting Crowns – Voice of Truth)
Finally, Peter sank when his doubt was caused by what he saw around him. He removed his gaze from Jesus…
Perhaps you need to life your eyes. Focus on Jesus.
*The Lectionary is a collective of scripture references for each week that is available for the worldwide church. These verses follow the church calendar and is often nice to follow; when a certain topic doesn’t come to mind.
“Jesus walking on the water, Sweet Jesus walking in the sky.
Sinking sand, took my hand, raised me up, and brought me up,
So I can hold my head up high.” Violent Femmes