Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crazy Fools!

Today's gospel reading from Matthew describes the time when the disciples headed out across the sea so Jesus could have some "alone time" when suddenly, a huge storm rolled in and completely freaked them out. (ok, the scriptures don't tell us that but it makes for a better story. And who's to say they weren't?) ANYway, I picture the whitecaps buffeting their boat similar to those huge waves that hit the fishing vessels on that Discovery channel show, "Deadliest Catch." Very scary! This went on for hours and you know at least one of the disciples was yelling, "We're all gonna die!" And to make matters even weirder, early in the morning they saw a ghost coming towards them on top of the water (and according to the scriptures that DID freak them out!)
But lo and behold, the ghost turned out to be Jesus who told them to calm down. Which brings up the question: Why was he walking on the water? Did anyone ever ask Jesus that? Was this something he did often? Or just during storms? Did he not realize the effect this would have on his disciples?

So, Look at them all huddled in the boat below. They really should have gone out in a bigger boat, though I must say that when I'm fearing imminent death I really do like someone else to cling to. Come to think of it, that picture reminds me of church - a community moving forward or as in this case, being tossed to and fro. And there are some really grumpy faces in that boat. What's up with that?

Of course only one disciple was bold enough to ask Jesus to tell him to jump out of the boat to try the water walking. Yep, it was Peter. And yes I know it showed his great faith to take that first step across the water towards Jesus. But don't you think the rest of them were grabbing onto him and calling him a crazy fool? Maybe that's the point. Jesus wants us all to be crazy fools...taking risks....attempting the seemingly impossible...and when we sink (and indeed we will) God will be there, pulling us out of our fears and doubts if we stop looking at the water long enough to notice that we are not alone...that we are never alone...we are always in the presence of God....and that we need one another. really. we do...even when we don't get along...after all, we are the body of Christ. and that's a big deal.

So...go do something impossible...I dare ya.

Art work by James B. Janknegt.  Learn more about his amazing art here

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