19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
for Sunday, August 7, 2011
lectionary focus: Matthew 14: 22-33
(Note: This sermon may be above a 5-year-old’s understanding, but this interpretation had such a profound impact on me, I feel it is important to share early and often.)
Good morning everybody!
This summer, my 6-year-old friend Zachary went to the pool a lot. Zach loves the pool and enjoys the water. But Zach would not jump off the diving board. He was scared. He didn’t believe that he could do it. His mom would ask him every day if he wanted to try, but Zach would say no. Zach watched the other kids jump; he watched his mom jump; he talked about jumping himself; a few times Zach walked to the end of the diving board; but Zach was too scared to do it. Finally one day, Zach jumped off the diving board. And you know what? Zach could do it! And Zach LOVED it! Now Zach goes to the pool and jumps and jumps and he doesn’t want to stop. Zach knows that he is really good at jumping off the diving board.
In our Bible story today, the disciples are in a boat on the lake. Jesus comes walking across the top of the water towards them. Whoa! Jesus is doing another miracle! He is walking on top of the water; He isn’t swimming in the water; He is on top; He doesn’t sink. Peter, in the boat, gets real excited. Jesus calls him to Come and so Peter gets out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus. The story says that he came toward Jesus, but then he got frightened and began to sink into the waves. Jesus reaches out and catches Peter saying, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
I’ve heard this Bible story many times. I’ve heard people say that Peter sank because he didn’t have enough faith in God, that he didn’t believe hard enough in God. So then in my life, when I felt like I was sinking in some problem, I thought that meant I didn’t have enough faith in God. But last summer, I was at the Montreat Youth Conference and I heard this story another way. Peter doesn’t sink because he lacks faith in God, Peter sinks because he lacks faith in himself as a child of God. God calls us to do many things. Sometimes these things are hard. We might think these things are impossible, that we can’t do these things. But God has faith in each of us. When God calls you to do something, He knows you can do it. God wants you to have that same faith in yourself as His child. He wants each of us to believe that through Him, we can do what He calls us to do. And when we have that faith in ourselves as His children, we will see that we are good at it and it is fun and we don’t want to stop.
Will you pray with me?
for having faith in me.
to have faith in myself
and to know
that I am a precious child of God.