Stepping out of the boat (Matthew 14: 22-33)
When Peter ventured forth, even though the going was rough, even though he almost sank and perished, Jesus reached out his hand and he caught him, just at the right moment. He helped Peter back into the boat. He stilled the wind and the waves, and Peter was saved. But if Peter had not ventured forth, had not obeyed the call to walk on the water, then Peter would never have had this great opportunity for recognition of Jesus and rescue by Jesus.
Jesus is the one who extravagantly, recklessly, commands us to leave the safety of the boat, to step into the sea, to test the waters, and show our faith.
This ancient gospel story also shows us the power of faith. It shows us what Jesus always does for his people, when the wind is against them and they are in danger of being overwhelmed by the storms of life. To those with faith, Jesus is not a ghost from the past. He is the Son of God, who is present with us, and whose grace upholds us when things are too much for us. Jesus is present to his people in the storm of living: ‘Take heart, do not be afraid.’