Today’s reading spoke to me. Did it to you? I love Peter. He’s the best and the worst in all of us, and that he was the man Jesus trusted as first leader of his church should cheer us all up.
Last week C noted that in response to the judicial murder of John the Baptist, Jesus needed to get away from it all and pray. Instead he ended up preaching and feeding the five thousand. This week we see that he did manage to find time for prayer and reflection. There’s the first lesson for us all – go thou and do likewise! It may just be me (probably is) but silence I find a problem. However hard I try, my mind tends to fill it, and it had taken huge efforts to get to a place where, at least some of the time, I can sort of do it. Making a habit of private prayer times helps, I find.
We’re not told why Jesus is walking across the sea in a storm, though preacher after preacher has and will emphasise the symbolism. If we see the boat as the church, we can see Jesus as saving it. If we see the boat as life, we can see Jesus there for us in its storms. When I was a girl I used to ask why Jesus was walking across the sea, but answer came there none. I guess that’s the sort of thing he did. My best guess is that there was, as ever, a lesson for the disciples.
It’s worth noting that because there was a storm, the inhabitants of the boat were awake and therefore able to see Jesus when he came unexpectedly, even if they thought he was a spirit! It’s a reminder to us to be about his business and be awake. Peter, naturally goes one better. Is he trying to ensure it is Jesus? Either way, he does as he is told. Good on Peter, how many of us would have that faith? It reminds me of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when our hero has to step out from the ledge and trust that a bridge will come. Then, doing better than I would, Peter does what I do too often, he doubts and begins to sink. Jesus saves him. Go thou and do likewise is the message, with the implication, perhaps, we should have more faith.
If we have faith like a mustard seed, there’s no limit, we’re told, as to what we can do. The moment we doubt, we sink. In God alone is our trust. It doesn’t matter how secure we think the boat is, because if the moment we step out from it we sink, then sink we shall without Jesus. Save me from such a fate, Lord, and give me the courage to confess you, King of Glory now!
May all you have a happy and holy Lord’s day, and may his presence bring you joy, and may he keep you from harm this day, and forever.