and Worship Resources
Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 14 (19), year A
Closing Prayer / Benediction (by James Dillet Freeman)
The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is!
Where Feet May Fail
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
Life can be very hard and very confusing at times. I think we can all testify to
that. If you look around you, you’ll notice that a lot of people are looking for
direction and help. Many of us need answers to questions like: what is my
calling in life? What should I study? What job is there for me? How do I fit in?
How do we raise our children? How do we get through this crisis? How do I find
the right partner for life? How do I relate to the difficult people in my life?
How do I maintain my values and beliefs in a corrupt work place?
So we often look to God for answers, we go to church, we read the Scriptures.
But often times the situations we find ourselves in aren’t directly addressed in
the Scriptures. All we have is stories, parables and general teachings by Jesus
that need to be interpreted so we can apply them to our every-day life.
Today’s gospel lesson is a perfect example: in the middle of the night the
disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat. A sudden storm comes up
(which apparently happens frequently even now-a-days). It’s a bad storm, the
disciples are scared, the ship may sink. Where is Jesus? Their beloved teacher
wasn’t with them; he needed time to himself. But suddenly, in the middle of this
seemingly hopeless situation, Jesus makes an appearance. The disciples see him
walking on the water toward them and...are terrified. They think he’s a ghost.
But Jesus reassures them: “it’s me!” Peter wants proof and says: “Lord, if it’s
you, ask me to walk on the water toward you.” Jesus says: “do it.” So Peter
does, he actually starts walking on the water toward Jesus, but then he is
distracted by the waves, takes his eyes off Jesus, and goes under. Jesus is
there to help him, grabs his hand and lifts him out of the water. Jesus seems
disappointed and asks all of the disciples: “Why have you such little faith? Why
do you keep doubting?” The disciples are in awe. They worship Jesus, and
continue on their journey.
So, how does this story relate to us and to our decisions and struggles? .....
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full sermon manuscript.