Sermons 2008
Time to get out of the boat, Proper 14A, 10 August 2008, Matthew 14:22-33

Home | Light and Love, Christmas 1B , 28 December 2008, John 1:1-18 | The light and the darkness, Christmas Day, 25 December 2008, John 1:1-14 | What would you see? Christmas Eve, 24 December 2008, Luke 2:1-20 | What did you say? Advent 3B, 14 December 2008, John 1:6-8. 19-28 | A refining fire, Advent 2B, 7 Dec 2008, Mark 1:1-8 | Alert, alert! Advent 1B, 30 November 2008, Mark 13:24-37 | Where will we stand: sheep or goats? Proper 29A 2008, 23 November 2008, Matthew 25: 31-46 | The talents to...? Proper 28A, 16 November 2008, Matthew 25:14-30 | Choose this day, Proper 27A, 9 November 2008, Joshua 24:14-25; Matthew 25:1-13 | All Saints A, 2 November 2008, Matthew 5:1-12; 23:1-12 | Holy or not? Proper 25A, 26 October 2008, Matthew 22:34-46 | Things: God's or Caesar's? Proper 24A, 19 October 2008, Matthew 22:15-22 | The wedding and the allegory, Proper 23A, 12 October 2008, Matthew 22:1-14 | The vineyard and the rock, Proper 22A. 5 October 2008, Matthew 21:33-46 | Deference and disobedience, Proper 21A, 28 September 2008, Exodus 17:1-7; Matthew 21:23-32 | Be content, Proper 20A , 21 September 2008, Matthew 20:1-16 | Only one true church? Proper 18A, 7 September 1008, Matthew 18:15-20 | Be content! Proper 20A, 21 September 2008, Matthew 22:1-16 | Be content! Proper 20A, 21 September 2008, Matthew 20:1-16 | Holy Name and Holy Ground, Proper 17A, Exodus 3:1-15; Matthew 16:21-28 | What's in a name? Proper 16A, 24 August 2008, Matthew 16:13-20 | Dogs? Proper 15A, 17 August 2008, Matthew 15:10-28 | Time to get out of the boat, Proper 14A, 10 August 2008, Matthew 14:22-33 | Who, me? Proper 13A, 3 August 2008, Matthew 14:13-21 | LIKE what? Proper 12A, 27 July 2008, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 | Good seed, bad seed, Proper 11A , 20 July 2008, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 | Watch the Farmer, Proper 10A, 13 July 2009, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 | Easy Yoke? Proper 9A 2008, 6 July 2008, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 | Baptism of David William and Anne Tyler, Proper 8A, 29 June 2008 | The Twelve or the Dirty Dozen? Proper 6A, 15 June 2008, Matthew 9:35-10:15 | Jesus likes sinners?, Proper 5A, 8 June 2008, Matthew 9:9-13 | Lawlessness or not? Pentecost 3A, Proper 4A, 1 June 2008, Matthew 7:21-29 | What do you mean, if? Easter 6A, 27 April 2008, John 14:15-21 | Comforting words and St Thomas, Easter 5A, 20 April 2008, John 14:1-14 | Ordinary good shepherds, Easter 4A 2008, 13 April 2008, John 10:1-10 | Light for clarity, Easter 3A, 6 April 2008, Luke 24:13-35 | "Blessed are those who....", Easter 2A, 30 March 2008, John 20:19-31 | Hallelujah! He's alive! Easter Sunday A, 23 March 2008, John 20:1-18 | He had it all, Palm Sunday A, 16 March 2008, Matthew 26:14-27:54 | Lazarus: Waiting for Jesus, Lent 5A, 9 March 2008, John 11:1-45 | Miracles Physical and Spiritual, Lent 4A, 2 March 2008, John 9:1-41 | Living Water, Lent 3A, 24 February 2008, John 4:5-42 | God's unselfish love, Lent 2A, 17 February 2008, John 3:1-17 | Temptation, Lent 1A, 10 February 2008 | Ash Wednesday, 6 February 2008, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 | They heard the Lord call, Epiphany 3A, 20 Jan 2008, Matthew 4:12-23 | Come and See! Epiphany 2A, 20 January 2008, John 1: 29-42 | Remember Your Baptism? Epiphany 1A, 13 January 2008, Matthew 3:13-17 | We Three Kings, The Epiphany, 6 January 2008, Matthew 2:1-12

Proper 14A 2008 Matthew 14:22-33

We have, I suspect, heard an abundance of walking on the water stories. At least they have come cascading across the internet. These stories typically involve three people out in a boat, in this case a doctor, a lawyer, and a priest.

While the three are out in the boat, the lawyer suddenly remembered that he left his lunch on the dock. The priest offered to go back to get it for him. He stepped out of the boat, and walked on the water toward the shore. The lawyer jumped out of the boat and tried to follow him and sank immediately. When he came back up for air, he spluttered, “What happened?” The doctor told him, “He knows where the rocks are!”

There was also a report several years ago that an Israeli tour entrepreneur was pacing concrete blocks just under the surface of the Sea of Galilee at the supposed site so tourists could have their photo taken walking on water.

There’s something humorous about poor old Saint Peter who once again didn’t get it quite right. But on the other hand, Peter was the only one of the disciples in that boat who tried to do anything. And in his trying lies the tale.

When you wonder what it was that endeared Peter to Jesus, it must be because Peter was always a man of action, quick to speak and to do. Lots of people have good intentions, but never take that first step. But Peter did. For whatever reason, Peter seized the Lord at his word. Peter yelled to Jesus across the waves and through the storm, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus said to Peter, “Come.”

Peter took a few steps on the water and suddenly was afraid. His confidence and faith left him, and he began to sink beneath the waves. With his last breath he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus reached out and caught him, saying, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Peter made mistakes. But Peter learned from his mistakes. Peter first understood who Jesus really was.

Take Winston Churchill. By his thirties, Churchill was a success as an adventurer, writer, and politician. But the principal subject of his early writing was himself. Elected to Parliament at the age of 25, in the cabinet at 31, and when World War I began, he was First Lord of the Admiralty and in the War Cabinet. But Churchill’s world revolved around himself. Other Cabinet members didn’t quite trust him.

In 1915 Churchill’s world collapsed. The Gallipoli expedition, Churchill’s responsibility, had become a disaster. He was forced to resign from the Cabinet. But Churchill learned from his mistakes. He discovered qualities key to his success as Prime Minister of Britain and Allied leader during World War II. This new Churchill inspired the British people to stand tough until the United States joined them.

On average a successful entrepreneur has about four failures to each success. Henry Ford forgot reverse gear in the first car he invented. The building in which he built the car didn’t have a door wide enough to let the car drive out.

And then there are experts. The founder of IBM once said that there would maybe be a demand for no more than a hundred computers ever. And experts said Marconi could never broadcast radio messages across the Atlantic Ocean.

“Come,” said Jesus to Peter. “Step out of the boat and onto the water.”

Theodore Roosevelt once read How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis. Riis described the New York slums of at the turn of the 20th Century: vice and crime and disease in crowded cramped dark rooms and tenements without running water and heat. As soon as he finished the book, Roosevelt went to the newspaper office with the message “Have read your book and have come to help.”

That’s a good motto for us. “Have read your book and have come to help.” That’s how free health clinics and havens are built, hospice established, meals carried to the home bound, thrift shops opened, lives changed. The list of what has been done goes on and on. But the list of what needs to be done is still endless. “Come,” says Jesus to us. “It’s time to get out of the boat.”