Wednesday, 25 October 2023 I am a Christian…despite myself
Matthew 14: 27-31
Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid, he said, Take courage, I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come, “Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. You have so little faith, ”Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
Reflection Stepping Out the Boat!
Always a feartie, these words from Matthew, give me courage and hope! Fear robs you of joy in living, darkening horizons with foreboding clouds of gloom. Nelson Mandela said: “We can choose to live in the shadows of our fears and insecurities, or, dare to trust the light of God shines on us, in, and through us!” Nelson Mandela trusted God’s love was greater than his fear.
Being a Christian today is challenging, and for many, in Eritrea, North Korea, Afghanistan and other places, professing your faith brings imprisonment and suffering. In the stormy Sea of Galilee, disciples despair, but Jesus does not hang back, he comes reassuring them in the unlikeliest of ways, walking on water! We may wonder what possessed Peter to brave swirling waves to reach Jesus. Stepping from the boat, Peter panics, shouting to Jesus.
Immediately, Jesus grabs him, saying “ Why did you doubt me?”
And in our journey, as followers of Jesus, perhaps we are like Peter, relying on our own strength not realising Jesus is already here, in the very midst of our fear, waiting to carry us through darkness into warmth of welcoming light. “Come, says Jesus, Don’t be afraid! Despite all that is fearful within you, trust I am with you. In this journey of faith, you are not alone”
God asks us to speak for those who are silenced, and through His love, bring freedom and peace for all living in fear. He asks us to shine bright like stars, moon, and sun, loving one another. And never more has this world needed people (even savvy introverts like myself) despite our fears, to let our faith live and reach out in God’s love.
“Here I am!” Jesus says. Right by your side.”
Not only in Church, certain times, but always and forever!
“Do not be afraid!” Your words Jesus, bring calm but sometimes we doubt ourselves, our ability to witness in your love, and we are afraid. Give us courage, like Peter, to trust you will still the storms in our heart. Comfort our brothers and sisters persecuted for their faith, may they never feel forgotten but held in your deepest love. For all who fear, for whatever reason, give the gift of peace, rest, and safety. Amen.
Hazel McCorrisken is a member of Helensburgh URC, in Synod of Scotland’s North of Clyde Cluster. She is also a Commitment for Life Link Person