Our scripture this week is Matthew 14:22-33. I usually remove the verse numbers to make reading easier (I think), but this week I’ll leave them in for comparison. Let me know what you think – numbers or no?

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

This passage tells us that the disciples were having a tough time crossing the lake against the wind. In the midst of their difficulties they see Jesus coming to them, but they don’t recognize Him because they are focused on their own issues. They cried out in fear because His appearance was so unexpected.

However, Jesus comforts them as He is always ready to do – When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. But He said to them “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (v. 26-27). When we face difficult times, Jesus is with us as well.

We are all concerned about the current situation and the disruption it is causing in everyone’s lives. We must ask Jesus for strength and wisdom to handle the problem. Only through faith and loving one another as He taught us will be able to conquer our fear and move on with courage.

Gracious God, we are afraid and confused. We haven’t had to deal with anything like this before. Help us to realize what is truly important – our connection to You and each other – and live through these times with Your guidance and love. Amen.

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