It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Peter's Response to Jesus' Response, a reflection on Matthew 14:22-33

The sea in the Scriptures is often a scary place, a place with sudden storms and hidden monsters. It often marks a border, a place of separation between us and them. Yet, it is a place under the control of the Lord.

Matthew tells us about the disciples, stuck in a boat during a storm. When Jesus came to rescue him, they didn't recognize him.

The disciples were alone in the boat during a storm--as the church of Matthew's time must have thought itself on occasion. They didn't recognize Jesus until he called out to them, "It is I." Many commentators consider this reassuring statement to be an allusion to the Scriptural name of the Lord, "I Am."

Peter tests Jesus, demands a miracle from him, "If you are who you say you are, command me to come to you on the water." Apparently Jesus' words have been enough to give Peter confidence because he can walk on the water. For a few steps. Then Peter notices once more what had been so frightening before--the wind. He falters, he can no longer do what he had just been able to do. He begins to sink.

Peter calls for help. Jesus gives it.

Sometimes, we can see God's presence; sometimes, not so much. Sometimes, we make a good beginning, but we fail to connect to it a good ending.

Sometimes we call for help.

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