19th Sun A
Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
What must Peter have been thinking when he stepped out of that boat? Sometime before he had experienced Jesus stilling a storm. He had seen the healings, eaten the multiplied food. Now exhausted after a night battling a storm he sees Jesus walking on the water. As a Jew he would have recognised this as one of the most potent images of God’s power. He also heard Jesus use the divine self-designation, ‘It is I!’ Now he calls out to Jesus, asking if he can share that experience of divine power: ‘Lord, if it is you, call me to come to you.’ Focussed on Jesus, he has the audacity to step where he knows no human can go.
Audacity isn’t usually touted as a virtue. We, Christians, tend to be a cautious, somewhat circumscribed lot. Generally we are among the most law abiding citizens, usually polite and caring, taking out insurance. Risk taking isn’t a characteristic popularly associated with us.
I find this Gospel a personal challenge. What am I prepared to risk to allow God’s power to work in my life? Peter was prepared to risk his life. Yes, he faltered but he still looked to Jesus for help. Later in his life, when called, he would risk many other things, finally giving his life. The risks we could be called to take are usually not so dramatic but they are no less real. It could be confronting a bully in our workplace, challenging racist views of a relative, taking a moral stand in the midst of friends. When we are in a situation when we wonder what we should do, maybe we should pause and pray inwardly: ‘Lord, if it is you, call me to come to you.’