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1030am Sunday 8-9-2020

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I meant thank you so much for all of those who stepped forward to read and for providing of that good word from the psalm for us today our Gospel reading today, from the 14th chapter of Matthew.

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side. Well, he dismissed the crowns and after he dismissed the crowds Jesus went up to the mountain by himself to pray when evening came he was there alone by by this time the boat battered by the waves was far from land for the wind was against them. an early in the morning Jesus came walking toward them on the sea, but when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified saying it is a ghost and they cried out in fear, but immediately Jesus spoke to them and said take heart it is I do not be afraid. Peter answered Jesus Lord If it is you command me to come to you on the water and Jesus said come so Peter got out of the boat started walking on the water and came toward Jesus, but when he noticed the strong wind. He became frightened and beginning to think he cried out Lord Save Me Jesus immediately reached out his hand and call him saying to him you of little faith. Why did you doubt when they got into the boat the wind ceased? And that was in the boat worship Jesus saying truly. This is the Son of God the gospel of Our Lord. Please be seated if you're already standing.

I invite you to pray with me.

Change be broken lives be healed In This Moment Christ be revealed in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit. Amen. I'm sure we're all well familiar with the classic classic hilarious really American joke of why did the chicken cross the road? And the answer is I would presume and hopefully you would know is to get to the other side. Yes, you know, it's well good. Well, it might my question for you is why did Jesus walk on water?

To get to the other side right pretty simple, right pretty simple. But but in that question and in that moment, it's actually significant. Let's recap last week. We we kind of unpacked Jesus is feeding of the 5000 and end where he was like, he's in Gentile territory. He's in place where he he should be according to the Purity laws of Israel, but he goes there to this deserted place in last week's reading just before our text today. You're welcome to go back just a few verses and reread that section. They give me a chapter 14, but Jesus goes off into this deserted place to be by himself to pray. And and he's leaving because he has been turned away by his own family. He's been he's been run out of town by his own family. And then secondly, he gets news that his partner his is good friend has been executed just head decapitated. It's just brutal in Jesus is grieved in his spirit and he goes off to this deserted place to be by himself because he needs time to grieve we talked about that at length last week. But here's where I think the miracle continues that the miracle is added its X in this story because Jesus now after dismissing the way to the other side, right the continued on without me. I will be joining you write the mission continues the mission persist. He sends them on and he goes off finally getting that moment by himself. Finally getting to pray to grieve to be in a state where his disciples. He doesn't want them seeing him in that place that Humanity that Jesus bears and boars for us is in need of being fully human and expressing its grief. So Jesus sends his disciples away while he Grieves and in our text today, we hear that the disciples in the midst of their going in the midst of there being sent across the sea. The winds are against them and the way that the boat is being battered by the waves. Now, these are experienced fisherman many of them. Most of Jesus disciples were seafaring people. So they're not unfamiliar with how to handle this and and they're struggling there. They're doing their best to keep the boat's bow into the way. They're doing their best to stay on target on Mission. Jesus said go. So we're going to go but we're not making much progress.

Jesus thesis and here's the miracle. Jesus leave that place where he's finally got me a opportunity to grieve and 222. Wrestle with right Israel literally means wrestles with God wrestle with his feelings of loss abandonment betrayal. And he comes to the disciples he comes to the disciples because he's coming to be with them and you continue on the journey with them. That's a significant plot movement. That's a significant change and shift in the narrative. Jesus could have could have Aid on the Mountaintop Later on, we'll go here in the Transfiguration Jesus and Moses and Elijah appear in and Peter again. He's has that moment of a Faith and Hope Jesus. Let's stay right here on this Mountaintop. Let's stay here. It is good for us to be here Jesus in Jesus says no no, no, no. No, we cannot stay here. We cannot stay where it's safe and defensible right high places are very defensible. You feel safe in high places unless you have a phobia of heights in which case they're terrifying but in most cases is a safe fortified position, but more importantly is the place where we are closest theologically to God right Mount Sinai where we get the Ten Commandments Moses climbs to the peak with a cloud. The presence is hovering to receive that good news. And every time and every one of these stories just as Moses comes down. So does Jesus he comes down out of that place of safety out of that place of security and he goes and enters in to essentially what is chaos in this in the Hebrew Understanding God's breath. It moves over the Waters of waters were chaos. That was the theological framework of what the sea was because at a moment's notice it can turn as it did on the disciples and Jesus walks on to that chaotic water demonstrating command over the seas command over the natural world. Give me the place of safety a place of communion with his father to enter into the chaos of our world of our hearts of our Frailty. doubt and despair and he does so in the most surprising way. He just walks on the waters.

The disciples were facing winds that they could not contend with in spite of their profession in spite of their skill in spite of their experience. They could not contend. They could not defeat they could not they could not harnessed the wind for it was against them. We all know how it feels at times to have wins against us. to have winds from people's mouths against us to have the Winds of Fate against us to have the wings of the market against To have the Winds of the world conspiring against us. We all know that feeling.

For people in the African American Community. We know that the struggle is real that the Winds of our nation's struggle to get a more perfect union has been against them. We know that those who are demonized as as job takers and people who are bringing disease and committing crimes from the southern border. The winds are against them. We know what it's like all of us in some way shape or form to face winds that are not have our own doing against us.

And it is into those times. The very word of God the Breath of God the ruach. the spirit of God blows behind us surprises Us in ways that we don't expect him to show up. The disciples are so surprised. They think it's a ghost. That should give us some sense of how unexpected Jesus is arrival in the way that he showed up was.

The miracle in this story. Yes, Jesus calms the water. Yes, Peter walks on the water. But the miracle begins when Jesus chooses to go to the other side when Jesus chooses the chaos of the Waters of our world the chaos of our hearts the chaos of our relationships and our inability to reconcile within ourselves forgive ourselves and certainly to forgive one another it is then that Jesus and it isn't that chaotic place that Jesus chooses to leave his place in communion and in unity with God on that Mountaintop in prayer he comes to us. And he comes to you. It is a most miraculous turn of events and I daresay that for you and I we would not make that choice. Peter tries to make that choice Peter tries to make that effort to walk onto the waters to to do what he sees his teacher and master doing just with a 1/10 of doubt it is I do not be fearful do not be discouraged. I am with you about Peter still isn't really you Jesus. Command me to come and then I'll come. even Peter in all of his impetuous face struggles with believing And and holding true to the promise the Covenant in the faith that he has found in his master and his teacher. We all feel like Peter at times impetuous in our in our in our exuberance. But then when we get off there, we realize it's more than we bargained for. And it is then that Jesus like he does for Peter reaches down into are conflicted hearts. Takes our hand and pulls us into him and into life and safety.

Wherever we are today, whatever winds blow against you, whatever is causing you to think. Recognize that there is one who stands above it. All whose winds are not corrupted whose breath is the very breath that fills your lungs. And continues to replenish when you become Breathless. Let's pray. Gracious God. Thank you for today. Thank you for the breath of your son. Who comes into our chaotic world and calms the Seas of our Lands End Of Our Lives? David prayed for you to heal that which must be healed to help us to recognize the challenges we face and to have mercy forgiveness on ourselves and others as you do upon Peter. So do for us now in your love and your steadfast Covenant with us, we pray this in your son's name.

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