Summary: God is calling his rural church to change. Stop looking at the waves and see them instead as an opportunity for mission
Sermon: If you want to walk on water, you better get out of the boat!
I would like to focus on two particular verses from our Gospel reading today.
They occur in the middle of the story of Jesus walking on the water.
The disciples have run into a storm on the middle of the Lake of Galilee – and Jesus comes out to them – walking of the water.
Peter sees Jesus and asks him if he can come out join him. And Jesus replies:
Then Peter got out of the boat, walked on water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and began to sink.” (Mt 14:29-30)
When people preach on this passage they almost always seem to focus on Peter’s lack of faith.
But I want to talk about Peter’s faith because I think Peter gets a bad press on this.
I’d like to look on Peter’s actions in a more positive light.
I know of ONLY two people who have walked on water – and one of them was Peter.
PETER WAS PREPARED TO GET OUT OF THE BOAT AND WALK ON WATER.
2. Peter’s Experience of Walking on the Water
When I think about it - what amazes me was that Peter had faith to get out of the boat IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!
Having been on the Lake of Galilee in a squall, I know I would not have wanted to get out the boat in a gale.
I know I wouldn’t have the guts – but Peter did.
NONE of the other disciples joined Peter on the Lake!
3. Are we prepared to get out of the boat?
The question I would like to ask today is:
If Jesus called you to walk on water in the storm, would you be prepared to get out of the boat.
Now for the Anglicans here – that’s what I call Apostolic Succession!!!!
John Ortberg wrote a book with the wonderfully intriguing title:
“If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat”
Story: On 28th August 1963, Martin Luther King gave his famous speech “I have a dream” at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
Who then would have dared to dream that 50 years later we would have had an African American President.
Yet Martin Luther King’s dream, I believe, had much to do with Barak Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States.
We need people who are willing to swim countercurrent to the popular mood, when inspired by God.
We need those who dream of God’s Kingdom coming here on earth.
Quote: It was the American philosopher Henry David Thoreau, who wrote:
"If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away. "
Who is the drummer that WE are listening to?
Dreaming dreams is quite biblical actually
God often gave new directions as a result of dreams in the Bible.
Jacob had a dream after he has duped his older brother and is fleeing for his life (Gen. 28:10-22).
He is alone, running to his mother’s relatives. But he must stop to sleep.
In this condition, he is a good candidate for an intrusion from beyond.
He dreams of angels coming and going, messengers and promise-makers.
He hears God’s voice of promise.
The God rooted in his family promises land.
This odd holy voice of the night also promises to be with this fugitive and to bring him safely home.
Pharoah, the mighty king of Egypt had a dream that troubled him(Gen. 41:14-24).
Who would have thought that this powerful king would be so vulnerable?
His dream involves a confusing scenario featuring cows and shocks of grain.
He has no clue to the meaning of the dream.
After Pharaoh’s magicians and wise men, his "intelligence community," fail him, he summons an outsider, an Israelite, someone with no credentials at all
As we know Joseph tells Pharaoh the meaning of his dream: there will soon come a time when the empire will be destabilized.
Truth in the night is spoken to the one who has power in the daylight.
In a similar way, Nebucadrezzar had a dream that Daniel interpreted (Dan. 4:19-37).
4. The Magi
Perhaps the best-known biblical dream appears at the conclusion of the visit by the Magi to Jesus and his parents:
St Matthew records that "having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road" (Matt. 2:12).
Jesus life is threatened by Herod’s power and so in order to secure a future for the child, the voice of the Holy One intervenes in the night when the royal menace is at rest.