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Sermon and Worship Resources
10th Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon and Worship Resources

Texts & Discussion:
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm 105, 1-6, 16-22, 45b
1 Kings 19:9-18
Psalm 85:8-13
Romans 10:5-15
Matthew 14:22-33


This Week's Themes:
Divine Providence
Sharing the Good News
Trust in God's Salvation
Faith in the Storm


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!




Children's Messages:

Discerning Jesus in the Storm

based on Matthew 14:22-33
Rev. Karen A. Goltz

            A few years ago I had the privilege of serving as chaplain for family camp at a Lutheran Bible Camp.  One of my duties was to lead bible study each morning at the conference center.  We had a pretty good turn-out, with a core group of about eight or so people who showed up every day, and several others who came sometimes.  As is usually the case, one of the regular attendees was a real character.  You know the type—a real joker with a heart of gold who gives everyone a hard time and is disappointed if we don’t give him one back, and who always asks these blunt, direct questions and expects blunt, direct answers in return.  On Friday, the last day of bible study, he complained that all the answers to his questions were abstract, and he didn’t do well with abstract.

            His complaint was valid.  But there wasn’t much I could do about it.  His questions were mostly seeking clear, concrete directions on what to do in certain situations.  But the situations he was concerned about aren’t directly addressed in the bible; all we had were broad statements by Jesus that we’re left to interpret what they mean for us today.

            Take today’s gospel lesson, for example.  We have Peter and the other disciples in a boat in the middle of the night, with a storm raging around them.  Jesus has gone off to pray, and, having finished, is walking across the water to catch up with the boat.  The disciples see him and are terrified, thinking maybe they’re seeing a ghost, at which point he tells them that it’s him, and not to be afraid.  Peter asks him to prove it by calling him out on the water, and Jesus says, “OK, come on.”  So Peter steps out of the boat and starts walking on the water toward Jesus, but partway there notices the storm, gets scared, and starts to sink.  In his fear he cries out to Jesus for help, and Jesus reaches out a hand and saves him.  Jesus says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  Then they both get back into the boat, everyone worships him and calls him the Son of God, and they continue on their way.

            It’s an abstract story, and we tend to interpret it abstractly.  We take from this story that we’re supposed to be like Peter and ask for Jesus’ command or will.  Once we receive it we’re to step out in faith, even when we’re called to do something seemingly impossible like walking on water.  If we take our eyes off Jesus and let ourselves worry about other things around us, we’ll begin to sink or fail, but even then if we call out to Jesus for help, he’ll be there, and he won’t let us fall, because he is the Son of God.  That’s our lesson for today.

            OK.  Great.  Let’s get started.  First off, how do I ask Jesus to tell me his will?  


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