Friday, August 24, 2012
Sunday, August 05, 2012
Thursday, August 02, 2012
"Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
How far do you have to sink?
Let me explain. I have been in church forever . . . well at least it seems that way sometimes. And I have heard many many preachers expound on the story of Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on the water towards Jesus. I have heard it used as an allegory on keeping our eyes focused on Christ in the midst of a trial rather than looking at our circumstances. I have heard it used to talk about faith, having it and the lack thereof. I have heard preachers use it to talk about fear versus faith. But there is one thing that Peter got very right that I have never heard anyone talk about. When Peter began to sink, he cried out to Jesus. He didn't cry out to the other people in the boat. He didn't try to swim back to the boat. He didn't try to save himself, work it out on his own, think it out, cry it out, or sulk it out . He didn't wait until salt water stung his eyes and water filled his nose and mouth. Peter saw Jesus as a first response rather than a last resort.
How far do you have to sink?
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Some days, I don't want to be the clay. The clay gets pinched. The clay gets squeezed. The clay gets molded, and even sometimes cut. I've heard for years, that as the body of Christ, we are called to be His hands and feet, to allow Him to live His life through us, and that we are called to yield to the process of being transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. Sometimes I approach this process with great passion. Sometimes I want to run in the opposite direction. And then sometimes, I want to flop down on the floor like a stubborn child, poke my lip out and say "no." Sometimes I don't want to be clay. Sometimes I don't want to be Jesus with skin on, His hands and feet... Sometimes I don't want to think one more thought about poverty, racism, or any of the other "isms" our society is infected with. Sometimes I don’t want to think about anything more serious than whether to cut my sandwich on the diagonal or straight across.
We talk about being transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. But which image are we speaking of? Is it the image of a son so submitted to the will of His father that he was willing to become a helpless infant in the hands of strangers? Or is it the bruised and battered Jesus, spit on, despised and rejected of men? What about the victorious Jesus, returning on a white horse? How about the image of Jesus kneeling in agonized prayer in the garden asking, “Father if..,” Can we choose which Jesus we become? I suspect that just as all of these images and so many others are all parts of the whole, we have to experience all of these aspects of Jesus as parts of our whole experience of being transformed into His image and likeness. And when I go through my “garden” experiences in the process of transformation, I am so glad that the Bible doesn’t try to clean up the story for the more “sensitive viewing audience.” I’m glad that it records that Jesus whispered an “if”. I’m glad that it tells the truth that there were moments when Jesus didn’t want to be the clay.