A Sermon from our Ministry Team

Jesus carries us.

 

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."

He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."

 

Some of you will know that poem well. It is footprints by Mary Stevenson.

For me it sums up today’s gospel reading and our life as Christians.

Jesus is there for us at all times.

We are passing through a storm of life at the present time – our lives are going through a change – a situation that is altering day by day – its unnerving, its strange and its most definitely different.

Some will find it restrictive, stressful, frightening. Others will feel alone neglected isolated unable to see friends and family.

Today’s reading can offer some reassurance.

The gospel reading is full of miracles, most of which show Jesus’s care, understanding and love not just for his friends but for all.

At the beginning we are told it happens after the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. When Jesus concern for those who have come to listen to him is very evident.

Then Jesus walks on water in the darkness of night in a storm.

Then Peter tries to do the same. But panics.  Jesus saves him. Then the wind and waves react to him.

Jesus sends his disciples off with instruction to wait for him. Just as he will send us out today to wait for him in our daily lives.

When they were a good way from the shore a storm blew up, the wind blew against them and the boat floundered.

Being battered by the waves from all sides they became frightened even though they knew the waters very well it was dark and they could not see what was happening.

Suddenly a shape appears on the water, walking on top of the waves. They become uncertain, weary thinking it is a ghost. Then the comforting sound of Jesus voice reaches them. I am.

A term often used at the time to refer to God. I am says,  is a frequent phrase in the Old Testament.

Once he realises who is approaching Peter – impetuous Peter- jumps in the water and starts walking towards Jesus.

Then reality hits- Help I’m on the water, the waves are rough the wind is blowing and its dark- he panics and starts to drown.

But Jesus is there. He reaches out a hand to help him.

Whether Peter walks back to the boat with Jesus or Jesus carries him we are not told, l like to think that Jesus carried him.

as soon as Jesus is in the boat the storm and wind ease and calm returns to the waters.

Christian life is like that.                                                    

Jesus sends us out to do our work for him, using our unique skills be it as a parent,, houseworker educator, secretary, computer worker, researcher, accountant, planner, manufacturer, shop assistant, driver or any description, carer, nurse doctor or any other of the jobs we do, he uses us in our daily lives for his purpose

We will leave the church at the end of this service sent out into the world to do his work. The week may start off smoothly, and them we hit a problem, or a storm, we try to negotiate it by ourselves but we get deeper into trouble – after struggling for a while we reach out, - perhaps in prayer, consciously or unconsciously to Jesus. He offers us a hand and things begin to improve.

 

The difficulties we have encountered seem much smaller and we eventually come out of the darkness into the light of a new day

 

We all- each and every one of us need Jesus in our lives to guide, help and support us through the good times and the bad.

 

He never lets us down when we turn to him and carries us at our darkest lowest ebb.

This doesn’t mean that we won’t hit more storms,, more rough water, we will, life can’t be smooth and calm all the time, and its coming through the storms which helps us to grow both a people and in faith.

It’s knowing that he is with us that helps us to navigate through both the dark and bright time of life, when we take a wrong turn he will gently nudge us back to the right path and lead us on.

 

If we are so desperate that we. Cannot find our way back he will carry us to safety just as he helped Peter when he started to drown. He will reach out to us and support us.

 

Let us thank God for giving us Jesus and the Holy Spirit, all the Saints and all who have gone before to lead us by example and to help us through the dark storms back to solid land and into the calm daylight of life.

Amen.

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