Remember the crazy story about Peter and Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33)? To refresh our memories…Peter and the disciples are out in a boat in the middle of the night when Jesus appears, taking a little stroll on the lake and looking a bit, well, ghostly. (Who wouldn’t, after all, in such circumstances and at such an hour?) So Peter calls out, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus’ answer in the affirmative provides Peter with just enough courage to step out of the boat and onto the water.
What follows has inspired many a sermon on the need for faith- Peter’s faith, our faith, you catch the drift- with the implication being that if we all only had a bit more faith, we all might walk on water. The problem with this, of course, is that it isn’t really good news for most of us. Most of us do not have that kind of faith, and frankly never will.
The really good news here is that Jesus walks on water, and comes to us when we call out in our faltering moments of fear, distrust and despair.
Nadia Bolz-Weber articulates this truth winningly in a recent sermon delivered to her congregation in Denver, Colorado and I commend it to you: http://sarcasticlutheran.typepad.com/sarcastic_lutheran/2011/08/jesus-walking-on-the-water-a-sermon-sarcastic-and-serious.html.