Getting out of the boat

August 7, 2011

Emmaus House Episcopal Chapel, Atlanta, GA
Sermon on Matthew 14:22-33

Proper 14 – Year A (RCL) Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28; Psalm 105, 1-6, 16-22, 45b; Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33

Several weeks ago, in anticipation of preaching, I took a look at the Lectionary for this Sunday. When I saw that it was the story of Jesus walking on water, I had more than a little trepidation. You see, I’m a pretty straight-forward thinker – any of you who know me, have probably noticed that about me. I like facts whenever possible… I take a very left-brain approach to situations.

Now, had the gospel lesson been a parable that Jesus was telling, that would be no problem. He taught using metaphors and storied illustrations all the time, but today’s lesson is a story pointing to something Jesus did, not something Jesus said. I like for those types of stories to be “fact-based” – told more from an historical perspective, or told in a way that makes it fairly easy to understand what happened.

You can image that with this bias, approaching scripture can be a real challenge and specifically this walking on water thing … If the story is being told by one of Jesus’ apostles, and if it isn’t factually accurate, how do we believe anything else written in the gospel of Matthew? Or any of the other gospels for that matter?

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