WORSHIP TOGETHER | Preparing Our Hearts for Virtual Sunday 8/9
Sunday, August 9, 2020
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:
First Reading: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm 105:1-5, 16-22, 45b
Second Reading: Romans 10:5-15
Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:22-33
The liturgical color for the day is: Green
This is not just about going for a stroll. This is risk. This is a bold step out. That is discipleship. Discipleship is a risky and exciting business. To step out there—to step out of our comfort zone and into the waters. That is a bold step. It is the way of following Christ.
To be a disciple is to put one’s leg over the side of the boat and take that step into the risky exciting life of moving towards Jesus. (Here in this pandemic world, we have been swinging a leg over the side of the boat and steeping into the turbulent water so, so many times.)
Look at Peter. There he is swimming. Jesus comes to his rescue. Jesus does not prevent the swim, but he is not absent in it either. It is what Jesus says to Peter that is powerful. Jesus says to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt.”
While we cannot hear Jesus say the words, I am convinced that he does not say them in a scolding way. “You of little faith, why did you doubt.” Rather, I am convinced Jesus says to them in a compassionate, calling Peter back to his own reality sort of way: “You of little faith, why did you doubt.” Almost to say, “You knew better.” “You know yourself better than that.”
It is the reality of this God of ours—we are prone to thinking that God has abandoned us, let us slip off the cliff, down into the swirling tide, or into the goo of a pandemic that won’t quit. But this God of ours was there, even at the cross, when Jesus felt to the depths cut off, abandoned, drowning… God redeemed it, God raised him up, and God was victorious.
That is the kind of God we have—that when we are swimming and sinking—just when we think we have lost it all… Just then and there—God is there.
God is here. Right here in all of it. Sink, swim, or stroll—God is with us, why would we doubt it?
Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk