Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Earlier today I was asked if I was slacking with my entries on the blog, so I knew that I had to get a post up today. Since returning from my mini-retreat, things have been hectic, but the busy-ness is a good thing, for it keeps me focused and ready for the busy year that we have planned here.

As I have been getting ready for this weekends sermon, I have been thinking about the different storms that we face in life, and the different things that we fear. The lesson I will probably be preaching on is from Matthew's gospel, and it is the story of Peter walking on water, then being overcome with fear, starting to sink, and being raised up by Christ. There are three things in this story that stand out to me.

First, is that Peter thinks he can walk on water - why? Peter was one called by Jesus to be a disciple, and to be a disciple means more than just follow someone. Rather, to be a disciple means that you will follow, learn, and grow all the while knowing that sometime you will be able to do what the rabbi you are following can do. So Peter, being a disciple of Jesus, believes that he can do what his rabbi, Jesus, can do.

Second, Peter is overcome with fear. We all fear different things in our life, and sometimes we let these fears dicatate our lives. Peter's fear of the storm, or failing his rabbi, or the gust of wind, or that fact that he was doing something he never though he could do - it comes crashing down on him, and this fear freezes him and he starts to falter. Ever had a time in yout life when fear paralyzed you?

Third - Jesus is right there, with a hand, lifting up the one who is falling. You see, Jesus cares so much for us, that no matter what happens, he is right there with us, reaching out his hand, grabbing us with his grace and love, and promising to never let us go.

So today, may you bring your fears to the one who will always walk with you. May you be blessed with grace and love, and may you always feel the presence of Christ in your life.


lula said...

Pr E, could you use this one instead?

FEAR-- Sometimes there are things that we truly need to fear--sitting in a tree during a thunderstorm, sleeping on the railroad tracks, or climbing in a lion cage at the zoo. My fear is that I'm scared to death of roosters, chickens, and turkeys. Do I want to face that fear? Nope. Not too many roosters, chickens or turkeys are running around Janesville. Once a year at the fairgrounds, I pass up the opportunity to go into the feathered-animal building. That's a kind of fear I can avoid and I'm glad people don't tease me about it.

Deciding whether to face our fear that we encounter more often than just at the fairgrounds--I guess we have to think about what it will take to face our fear and decide whether we're willing to risk dealing with the scary stuff. Can we actually let go of the fear and ask God to take it or do we hold on tight and wonder why we're still scared? We can stretch ourselves. We can try doing something a little scary and then take bigger steps as we get braver knowing God is holding our hands.

Betty Dygart said...

When I read Pastor E's and Lula's comments, the hymn "Have No Fear, Little Flock" came to my mind.

"Have no fear, little flock;
have no fear, little flock,
for the Father has chosen to give you the kingdom;
have no fear, little flock.

Have good cheer, little flock;
have good cheer, little flock,
for the Father will keep you in his love forever;
have good cheer, little flock.

Praise the Lord, high above;
praise the Lord, high above,
for he stoops down to heal you, uplift and restore you;
praise the Lord high above.

Thankful hearts raise to God;
thankful hearts raise to God,
for he stays close beside you, in all things works with you;
thankful hearts raise to God."

At times, when we have sung the hymn in church, I have felt it was something of a children's song, too simple in its tune and message to be taken as a worthwhile hymn. However, now, as I reread the words (and the tune is probably stuck in my head for the remainder of the day), its simplicity is one of the very reasons why it is a wonderful hymn, a reminder of God's unfailing presence, no matter what we fear.

I am thankful for being one of the "little flock" and for knowing my shepherd.