Message from the Minister Letter 10 – Sunday 9 August

Dear all,

I hope and pray that this letter finds you well.  As humans we tend to be sceptical about things which appear out of the ordinary or things that don’t quite make sense.  The phrase ‘seeing is believing’ reminds us that if something is implausible we need to see it to believe it.  Over time as technology has developed, humans are able to do things which once seemed impossible.  Take for example air travel, who would have thought it feasible to get a jumbo jet into the air and fly it to the other side of the world?  Since then, space travel has been developed with trips to the moon, satellites put into orbit and now further more ambitious projects are being explored.  The passage this week follows on from the feeding of the five thousand as can be found in Matthew 14: 22-33 and looks at an event which on the face of it seems impossible.  Jesus sends the disciples off in a boat whilst heading up a hillside alone.  It is interesting to note that even the Son of God needed time alone to pray and how much of a priority it was for Him.  Is prayer on your to do list and how much of a priority is it? 

Next we learn as Jesus is in quiet contemplation with God on the mountainside, the wind and the waves are increasing and the boat the disciples are in is a considerable distance from land.  As dawn arrives Jesus goes out to meet the disciples walking on the lake.  Matthew mentions it as though walking on water is the most normal thing in the world but of course it isn’t, it’s implausible and difficult to understand.  Fortunately we have the benefit of hindsight and we know that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine so nothing was impossible for Him.   Yet the disciples are shocked and think it’s a ghost walking toward them.  Considering they are probably tired and given the weather conditions around them, seeing a figure emerge from the horizon it is understandable that they are surprised. 

Jesus hears the cries and calls out to them to take courage and not be afraid.  Peter with typical boldness challenges Jesus to call him out of the boat to join him on the water.  Jesus accepts and Peter then climbs out of the boat.  At first all is well as Peter walks on the water to Jesus but as he realises just what he is doing and takes his attention off Jesus to focus on the wind he begins to sink.  We need to keep our eyes fixed on Him even in the storms of life.  Jesus takes him by the hand and asks why he doubts?  Jesus climbs into the boat with Peter and the wind drops.    The disciples worship Jesus as the Son of God.   Whilst this account shows that Jesus can not only control the elements it also shows us that Peter after having seen the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand and seeing Jesus walk on water and having done so himself still doubts.  That certainly makes me feel better!  Having doubts is normal especially in times of great change but we can draw comfort in the fact that nothing, absolutely nothing is a match for Jesus and His purposes will prevail! 

May the Lord Jesus Christ; weather changer and miracle maker, bless you, now and always,

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