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Lectionary

Worry and Doubt.

The most interesting thing here is not that Peter walked on water. Christ is the Lord of the earth, and could do what he wanted: which is why the temptation of Satan to him was to do the spectacular: jump off the temple like Superman. It is that he fell: and that is where we can learn.

He fell because he saw the troubles around him: the storm. He worried. He forgot to look to the Lord of the Storm.

But then, he looked to Christ, who saved him. Literally: it was no storm in which you could swim.

Matthew 14:22-36

22Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

28Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35After the people of that place recognized him, they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him, 36and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

A fairly standard tactic of the enemy is to simply make your life hell. Put in complaints. Get you sacked. They want you to be troubled, and in that state retreat from faith, doubt, and fall.

They use their usual emotional vectors: fear and worry. They threaten.

But we need to count this as joy. The time when Christians were supported by our society has gone, Christ has always offended the powerful: it is in these times that they are more open about it.

In our life, there are times of storm and times of peace. One never wants the storm. One prays that this cup will pass. But I know that storms do not last, that political movements fail, and social projects corrupt.

It is Christ who remains. Look to him.

One Comment

  1. Joe Katzman

    Amen.

    I thank my Christian brethren for directing me to those aspects of their gospels concerning a joyful heart. There is great wisdom in it.

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