Usually I post my Sunday sermon at this point in the week, but this morning I did an off the cuff kinda thing that just didn’t translate on paper. If you read last week’s sermon on the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 this morning was a continuation of that based on Jesus and Peter walking on the water from the 14th chapter of Matthew.
Last week I said that we needed to invite 700 million people to dinner; this week I said we needed to walk on water. Much of what I preached was based upon my finally seeing the movie Hotel Rwanda. (If you haven't yet seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it.) In it a reporter makes a comment about footage he shot of a massacre only a half mile away from where he was staying. He’s just been thanked by the main character, Paul Rusesabagina, who believes that once the west sees what’s on the tape they will intervene and he responds: “I think if people see this footage, they'll say Oh, my God, that's horrible. And then they'll go on eating their dinners.”
14:28 Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
14:29 He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.
14:30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
14:31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
If we believe in God, then we listen when Jesus calls us to come to him. But that means we leave our safe spaces around the dinner table and take a step out onto the water. The gospel message this morning is that even when we are frightened, Jesus still reaches out to us. BUT… we still gotta leave the safety of that boat.
I didn’t write or prepare an ending to my sermon. (A real leap of faith, if you know what I mean?) Instead I asked what we should do and the people responded! They responded with stories of times they couldn’t just sit at the dinner table, bemoaning the fact that bad things happen. They responded by talking about the upcoming crop walk… and I felt the water on the bottom of my feet.