Connecting with the Cross

August 31, 2014

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Proper 17 – RCL Year A
Exodus 3:1-15; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

For three of the last four weeks, the gospel lesson has featured Peter in a significant way. Peter is one of those guys in the Bible that seems especially real to me. He’s a fisherman. A man’s man, if you will. He’s willing to take risks, like stepping out of a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, to walk toward Jesus. But he also gets scared.

When he finds himself doing something he didn’t think he could do, like walk on water, a strong wind distracts and scares him and he starts to sink. Even though he surely knows how to swim, he shows his humanity by crying out for help in a moment of panic, “Jesus, save me!” And immediately, Jesus reaches out his hand to help Peter back into the boat.IMG_4235

This is a story I wish I could see on YouTube. Not for the walking on water part, although that would be really cool, but to see the expression on Jesus’ face as he helps Peter into the boat. My hope is that there’s a playful gleam in his eye as he teases Peter, saying “you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Like the smile and shrug we give a close friend whose exuberance for life always gets them into things a little over their head.

And last week we see Peter in a different light. Jesus is asking the disciples “Who do people say that I am?” and then he asks them, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter, once again the eager one, steps up and proclaims, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” There’s no hesitation; just pure confidence. Read the rest of this entry »

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