Previous Posts – Click to View

October 2012

Creative Control

Jesus Walks on the Water

Proper 14, Year A of the Revised Common Lectionary

Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud

Scripture Reference: Matthew 14:22-33

Preparation: bring some art supplies with you; ideally some modeling clay, but a pad of paper and some markers would work as well.
Would anyone like to volunteer to be our artist this morning and create something? I am going to ask my artist to draw something that you think might be frightening to someone else. (Pick a volunteer artist and let them sculpt or draw something.)
While our artist works on their creation, I want to tell you about a time when the disciples of Jesus encountered something that was really very frightening. Matthew chapter 14 tells us about a time when the disciples were out fishing on the Sea of Galilee and a storm started to blow. The Sea of Galilee is not a small lake; it is huge. It is 21 kilometers (or 13 miles) long and 13 kilometers (or 8 miles) wide. It is known for its sudden, strong storms.

The disciples were out in their fishing until very late at night and Jesus was not with them. The storm was tossing their boat around and it was getting so bad that they thought that they might drown. They were terrified of the dark, wild water that threatened to sink their boats and take their lives. Suddenly, the disciples saw something coming towards them through the dark, walking on top of that dangerous water. They cried out in fright because they thought it was a ghost. This was not a ghost, however. This was not one more thing to be frightened of. This was Jesus, walking towards them on the water. As soon as Peter recognized Jesus, he got out of the boat and started walking out to Jesus. Peter was actually walking on the water looking at Jesus until he realized what he was doing and then he started to sink, and Jesus reached down and pulled him up. As soon as Jesus stepped into the boat, the wind died down and the storm stopped.

Why wasn’t Jesus afraid of the wind and the storm? Why wasn’t he afraid of the water and the waves? Well, let’s think about that while we see what our artist has created. Can you show us what sort of frightening thing you have made? (Let artist show his or her creation.) Let me ask the artist something…. Are you afraid of the thing you have created? Does it surprise you or scare you? (Let artist answer.) The creator is not afraid of his own creation. All things were created through Jesus. He is the creator of wind and waves. He controls the wind and waves. They do not control him. Jesus, the Creator, is always in control. And as long as Peter was focusing on the creator, Jesus, he was safe. As soon as he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink.

There are things in this world that we need to be careful of, and dangerous things that we need to stay away from, but as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, the creator, we never need to be afraid.

Prayer: Help us to keep our eyes on you, Jesus. Thank you for creating our world and thank you for loving us and keeping us safe. Amen.

Thank you to Luann Nakazawa for requesting this sermon.

Bless Me with a Comment: