Tuesday, August 2

Walking in faith

Today's reading is from Matthew, wherein Christ sends the disciples ahead and then returns to them by walking across the Sea of Galilee.  Not surprisingly, the disciples are scared witless.

At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

He said, “Come.”

Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.  But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

There are a few things here.  The first is Simon wanting proof that Christ is who he says he is by performing yet another miracle, but specifically one for him.  The second is that the miracle DID happen, Peter DID walk on the water, until his faith wavered.  Thirdly, as soon as Peter cried out for salvation, Christ was there.

I could wax prosaic about parallels between this parable and the present (insert denomination here) church.  Instead, I think it is more instructive to examine ourselves personally and think about the presence (or absence) of miracles.

Throughout the gospels, there is a pattern to Christ's miracles when they interact with man (i.e.- when Christ isn't showing power over nature).  The mortal is shown to be in need, the mortal (whether by external exhortations or internal prodding) has faith in Christ, demonstrates that faith in some way (normally Christ tells them to do something) and the miracle occurs.  This is particularly of interest in this reading as we see that the miracle waxes and wanes with Peter's faith.

I mention all of this because I was raised in a tradition which believes that the Age of Miracles is over and that the Age of Reason, with it's emphasis on the rationality of the Divine Watchmaker and the logical and munificent bargain that is salvation.  At the risk of having chicken and eggs here, it makes me wonder.

If a person does not have faith in miracles, then it follows that one would not see them when they happen.
If a person does not have faith in salvation, then it follows that they would not receive it.
If a person does not have faith in the Divine, then they would (at least in this world) not know Her benefice.

As I have mentioned previously,  Faith is trust without limits.

Trust in God, know His benefice.
Trust in salvation and receive it.
Trust in the existence of miracles, and you will see and experience them.

So, follow Christ and walk in faith on the water.

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