Shipley Church Self-Service
Sunday 9th August 2020
Thought for the Week – Jesus walking on water
It was a spectacular and unforgettable event when Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee to re-join his disciples who had departed ahead of him in a small boat. When he reached them, the storm they had been caught in subsided, and his disciples who had feared for their lives, then worshiped him as the true Son of God. (Matthew 14: 22-33) What are our fears and doubts that need to be calmed, today?
When a frightening encounter occurs, people often turn to God, as Peter did and cried “Lord, save me!” Today’s Covid19 pandemic breeds fear, as did the plagues and epidemics of the past – Spanish flu of 1918 that claimed more lives than those killed in the Great War, SARS in 2002, Ebola in 2014, and HIV/Aids in the 1980’s. But amidst the fear and uncertainty, these crises have spawned an outpouring of mass volunteerism and self-sacrifice; often we dread the difficult experiences of life such as illness, the loss of loved ones, financial hardship etc., only to discover that they can bring Jesus closer to us.
Today’s Gospel reading is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. A flock of gulls can sit serenely and securely upon the waves, but it is not for us to walk on water. Jesus, though, proved himself to be in command of the elements, and thus revealed himself to us through his disciples who recognised him and responded with a confession of faith in Jesus as God.
Hymn for the Day
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.
We pray, God will calm our fears and be at our side through the nights of doubt and sorrow. If sometimes we are unable to perceive his presence, he may possibly even be walking on water, while quietly choosing what is best for us.
Note: The Readings set for today can be downloaded from the top right corner of this page.