This will be my last Congregational letter for a while. As I’ve shared with you, I will be having hip replacement surgery this Tuesday and will be out recuperating for at least several weeks. And so, I am glad that this Sunday’s Gospel lesson is Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus Walks on the Water.
I appreciate being reminded that when all types of life circumstances make us fearful, when we feel we’re sinking into the depths, Jesus responds to our cry, “Lord, save me!” as he does to Peter. He reaches out his hand, catches Peter sinking in the stormy sea, and they both get safely into the boat while the wind and storm cease.
Peter begins sinking when he takes his focus off Jesus, notices the strong wind, and, as a result, becomes frightened. I can almost see Jesus shaking his head ruefully as he says to Peter, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” even as he holds him up.
I can remember a time quite a while ago when I was new pastor of a church in Ohio. I was facing another surgery then and confided in seasoned pastor in our ministerial group that I was afraid. Instead of sharing words of comfort, he said to me, “Maybe you should examine your faith.” That was not helpful!
Being afraid of that which threatens our well-being, even our very life, is only human, pastor or not. What I’ve found that helps me do better in dealing with such fear is to keep my eyes on Jesus. Sometimes, perhaps many times, our fear is worse than the reality of the event itself. Reminding ourselves that it’s okay to cry, “Lord, save me!” we can trust that Jesus will be present with us, loving us through whatever.
I look forward to being in worship with you this Sunday, whether you are present physically or on Facebook. I very much appreciate being part of such a caring congregation in the ups and downs of life!
God Bless You!
In Christ’s love,