From The Rector’s Study,
Sunday, August 9th, Pentecost X, Walking on Water
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28, Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b, Romans 10:5-15,
Matthew 14:22-33

One way of looking at the Gospel today is: walking on water and the storms of life. Is this Peter’s impulsiveness, rushing ahead without fully thinking about this? Have each of us done this at some point in our lives, and if that is the case, we have been as hard as Jesus, and the question is not, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” but what were you thinking, and the answer is, I wasn’t.

There is a second way of looking at this.

For all of us; the idea do we second guess our choices after we have made them and after they have started to take place?

Our daily actions put us as risk, even crossing the street or driving a car, but we do these things without even thinking of the risks, and larger actions such as getting married and having children. We may not go as far as to regret these choices, but at least question the decision.

I cannot help feeling that Jesus’ words may be rather hash to Peter; “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” After all, Peter was the only one who stepped out of the boat.

Jesus may be saying something like, you started out well, why stop now? Jesus may be warning us that stepping out of the boat metaphorically is the easy part, staying out there when the wind comes up is the more difficult, when the storms of life change and get worse. To keep going when the storms of life change and get worse, and even when doubts set in, they will.

And we have the story of Joseph is Genesis; who gets sold into slavery. That is quite a storm.

Next week we will hear the rest of the story about how this all works out for Joseph. But in the meantime he is in a bad way, through no fault of his own he gets sold into slavery. He can certainly second guess his choices. If he had not agreed to go find his brothers, if he had not thrown his favourite status in their faces…….

If when he had arrived at Shechem, just given up when his brothers were not there. But the man comes to him and asked him, “What are you seeking?” “I am seeking my brothers,” he said; “tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” The man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’“ He had not gone to Dothan.

Actually Bishop Andrew has mentioned a question surrounding this passage……

Who is the most important person in the Bible? We may answer Jesus or Moses or even Joseph. There are many names we could add to the list. Bishop Andrew’s answer; the man who says what are you seeking? And I heard them say let us go to Dothan. If not the whole story of the Bible would have unfolded differently. And what that says about our words and actions and the journey of faith for each other. But I digress.

Maybe we can relate more to Joseph than to Peter at this time. We are in a situation through no fault of our doing, and maybe as we move forward, things have and feel more difficult.

But what Jesus is saying behind the words to Peter are words we need to hear for ourselves; not you of little faith, why do you doubt? But for us to keep going when the storms of life change and get worse, and even when doubts set in, they will.


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