Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 14:22-35
Jesus walked on water! Well, Jesus is the Son of the living God and Jesus is God. So, what can I say? However, Peter walked on water, also! Even though it was brief, he was the only human being who walked on water!
Some people would say, “That is why I do not believe in the Bible. It is full of nonsenses!” Then they throw away the Word of God. However, some people think about the meaning of the story: “Hmm, if Peter could walk on water with faith, what can I do with my faith?”
The ones who try to own the biblical stories are the ones who make histories. I cannot walk on water so I rode a bike. It is my way of following the example of Peter. Instead of throwing away the Bible as non-sense, I honor the words of God and apply them to my daily life. I participated in the Bike-A-thon and raised more than 300 dollars for Heifer Project and our Youth Summer Mission.
The Heifer International was founded by an American farmer Dan West. When he served as a Church of the Brethren relief worker in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, he was frustrated because he was forced to distribute limited resources to many needy people. When he came back home, he founded Heifers for Relief, an organization that gave families livestock and training. Then each participating family agrees to donate any female offspring to another family. In this way, he imagined that a single gift would multiply far beyond the original investment. Heifers for Relief became an official project of the Church of the Brethren’s Brethren Service Committee in 1942, and the first shipment of 17 heifers went from York, Pennsylvania to Puerto Rico in 1944. Mr. Dan West also walked on water, didn’t he?
However, we have to learn lessons from today’s Bible passage. First, we have to have this conviction that it is Jesus who calls us. When the disciples saw Jesus about 3 o’clock in the morning on a stormy sea they thought that it was “ghost”! Then Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, take courage! I am here!” When we ride bikes we have to confess that it is Jesus who invites us to the Bike-A-Thon! It is not Jim McGuier’s dream or pastor’s ambition! It is not Marilyn Forrey’s project. It is God’s plan to use our church to reach out the people who need to hear the Good News in a practical way!
Secondly, when we walk on water, we have to keep our focus on Jesus. When Peter saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. When we lose our focus and see something else we will sink down. I also had a similar experience. When I rode a bike on the downhill, I lost just a little focus but the road was not forgiving! I fell on the ground and hurt myself badly! Losing focus means fatal wounds! There will be always wind and waves, misunderstandings and criticisms. However, we have to keep focus on Jesus. It is not our recreation and fun but a mission and ministry.
So, brothers and sisters! Would you treat this story as a non-sense and do nothing? Or walk on water with Jesus in your own unique way in your own situation?
- In your life, what would be like “waking on water”?
- What would be “wind and waves” that make you doubt Jesus and God’s promises?