Walk on Water
Very early in the morning Jesus came to his disciples walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” They were so frightened they screamed. Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.” Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus said, “Come.” Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!” Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” When they got into the boat, the wind settled down. Then those in the boat worshipped Jesus and said, “You must be God’s Son!
~ Matthew 14:25-33 Common English Bible
Peter steps out of the boat and walks on the water toward Jesus, buoyed by courage as he locks eyes with the very Son of God. Like a toddler taking first steps, Peter keeps his footing by focusing on the waiting arms off a loving parent. But then Peter notices the strong wind pushing him and his comrades out into deep waters, and suddenly Peter is like a toddler who realizes he’s defying the law of gravity. The “Rock” begins to sink like a stone.
~ Don C. Richter
Faith is courage under stress
confidence in hopelessness,
greatest gift we can possess.
Spirit God give us faith.
~ Mary Nelson Keithahn
We need to walk on the waters. The apostle Peter did so, after all, and he didn’t drown. Of course it is safer to go round by land, but you may never reach your destination…There are two ways to love. Completely, legitimately, and respectably it is possible to walk on dry land; to measure, to weigh and to plan ahead. But it is also possible to walk on the waters. Then it becomes impossible to measure or to plan ahead, the one thing necessary is to believe all the time. An instant of doubt, and you begin to sink.
~ Lisa Pilenko (Mother Maria)
Wade in the water, wade in the water,
children, wade in the water,
God’s agonna trouble the water.
Look over yonder, what do I see?
God’s agonna trouble the water
The Holy Ghost acoming on me,
God’s agonna trouble the water
~ African American spiritual
We know well Peter’s awful sinking feeling. We have been in over our heads. The icy fingers of fear have tightened around our hearts, and cries for help have emanated from the depths of our being. What do we need today? Which is more powerful in our present experience, the world’s winds on the Lord’s words? In either case he can provide for our need if we but ask. To those who trust him, Jesus gives a share of his power. To those sinking in doubt, he offers prompt assistance.
~ Fred Oaks
Keep recognizing Jesus, maintain complete reliance on him. Oswald Chambers
These reflections are for the week of August 9-15 and are based on the scriptures for worship on August 9.
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.