Our scripture this week is Matthew 14:22-33.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
We are worried about each other and our world like never before in our lifetimes. Most of us haven’t faced anything like this and it is hard to know what to do. It is easy to take the “fight or flight” reaction that is our nature, hiding from the danger or lashing out in anger at perceived causes.
Jesus teaches us another course, one that responds in loving action, neither fearful nor angry. When Peter comes out on to the water in this passage, he is afraid of sinking and calls to the Lord for help. “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Jesus says. He isn’t scolding Peter or ridiculing him, He is just being honest.
We have been given the gifts we need to face hard times, and chief among them is faith, the fact that we can trust God to be with us, inspiring us to find the answers to difficult situations. We are called not to the human reaction of fight or flight but to love as Jesus taught us and to be confident that God’s grace extends to all of us.
Loving Lord, we are confused and dismayed at the changes we see in our world. Help us to know Your love and show Your love to all our brothers and sisters that the world might be healed. Amen.