Courage... Peter Walks on Water

I’ve got to be honest with you...I often worry about being ‘CHURCH’ today; Are we all that Jesus hoped we would be?

We are certainly, in many parts of the world, but what about the church in the western world?

Are we dead or alive in Christ, asleep or awake; comfortable or living on the edge?

Have we allowed our faith to become sidelined to the point of extinction?

Has secularism come to dominate our worldview?

Does materialism dominate our thinking?

Has our spirituality become desensitised?

These are questions we can only answer ourselves.

This story helps us in that thinking; because in Peter’s actions here, we have a benchmark of all we should be...

Not impulsive as that drama suggests, indeed Jesus warns us about counting the cost and being prepared, and thinking things through carefully...

But what can we learn from this story today...about being a church built on rock...Peter....(on this rock I will build my church.. Matthew 16) was outlining the kind of people he was calling as one body to be his church? ...people just like Peter who were courageous, on the move, ‘forward looking’, trusting, eager to please....followers who would want to walk out there with him, in a world where storms raged and the winds blew.

Peter had the courage to:-

Rise up ..... away from the security and relative comfort of the boat he was sitting in; out onto the ‘stormy seas’, where his master was himself walking.(quote, boats are quite safe in the harbour, but that’s not what boats were meant to stay.)

Focus entirely upon Jesus...to forget about himself, and concentrate upon him, his Lord, hid Messiah and King. How easy it has become for us in this world to centre our lives solely upon ourselves.

We are blasted from every side by the media with the enticing words,

’You need to have THIS, because you’re worth it!’

Stand : when everyone else was sitting, just looking on. (Only dead fish go with the flow, so the saying goes.)

A poster once asked, If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Heed the call and commit himself: Lord if it’s you bid me come! Making that decision to take control of the will and just do it, because Jesus has called us! How strong is our will~ Lent~ our resolutions...how many of us have failed already?

Take a Risk: (and throw caution to the winds.) Anne Morissy, a Christian writer, calls this stage the hardest part, for it is here, at the very point of considering the consequences of risk, that we can encounter the Iron cage of Bureaucracy; an influx of all the reasons why we should NOT go forward; all of them very reasonable and plausible; but if we succumb to them we get nowhere.

But if we still go forward at this stage she says we then encounter the ‘Cascade of Grace.’ ...the reward of walking where Christ walked and to see the miraculous, the God- coincidences and blessings beyond measure happening all around us to those we reach out to.

Act: He actually walked on water a few steps, before he floundered!

A miracle in itself. When people tell this story they seem to concentrate on Peter’s failure to trust, but they forget what he did achieve, and what lessons he still teaches us today!

His courage only failed him, when he took his eyes off Jesus, and saw how high the waves were and how fierce was the wind.

What are our winds and waves? What pulls us down?

According to the drama? FEAR; TROUBLE;OPPOSITION; THREATS; DISTRACTIONS’DOUBT;UNCERTAINTY;OLD TEMPTATIONS WE THOUGHT WE’D LEFT BEHIND.

Peter was so impulsive, YES, his heart ruled his head ; time and again we see this in the gospels;

but Jesus saw that big transparent heart of his, his courageous heart, and he loved Peter for it.

In the bible Jesus advised his followers to first count the cost before building a tower, here is Peter doing the very opposite!

Nevertheless Jesus reached out to him, and lifted him up and saved him on his journey of faith.

Someone once said, ‘A saint is not someone who never fails, a saint is someone who gets up and goes on every time he does fail!’

Lord gave us that same courage in our Christian journey as a Church in this place...; to keep on travelling you...to hide in you, find our security in you, and yet keep on, keeping on with you, looking toward that unique vision or calling on our lives you have set before us.

Help us not to be afraid.

If it is you... bid us come.