Let’s Journey to the Cross – Jesus Walks on Water – Matthew 14:22-34 (A reflection by our Diocesan Children’s Officer, Kirsty McCartney).
Last week, we thought about going to a quiet place to pray. At the start of our story this week Jesus again went off to a quiet place to pray. He had had a very busy day teaching and feeding lots of people. The disciples were bound to be tired as well, so Jesus told them to go on ahead to the other side of the lake on the boat. The disciples did what they were told, but as they were sailing the wind began to howl, the waves grew larger, and the boat was being tossed all over the place. The disciples would have been terrified. The next thing they knew was that someone was walking towards them – walking on the water towards the boat. The scared and tired disciples thought this was a ghost and this made them even more scared! As the figure came towards them it turned out to be Jesus – not a ghost! The disciples cried out in fear. Jesus heard them and told them not to be afraid – ‘Be brave! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’
Peter decided to be brave – he said to Jesus ‘if it is [you], tell me to come to you on the water.’ Jesus answered with one word – ‘Come.’ Peter stepped out of the boat and was able to walk to Jesus. Not only did the disciples see Jesus walk on water, but now they were seeing Peter do the same. I can just imagine them all being shocked and amazed in the boat as they watch this happening in front of them.
Peter was still walking, but then he realized what was happening – he saw the waves crashing, and felt the wind blowing. He got distracted and took his eyes off Jesus, he was afraid and began to sink. The first thing he did was cry out to Jesus to save him. Without hesitation Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Jesus had one question for Peter ‘Why did you doubt me?’
After this Peter and Jesus both got into the boat and the wind died down. All who in the boat were amazed and worshipped Jesus – ‘You really are the Son of God!’
Jesus made two journeys in this passage: he journeyed to a quiet place to be with God, but he also went to be with his disciples when they needed Him. They were in a boat, in a storm and were terrified. Jesus went to them, told them not to be afraid and to have courage. When he got into the boat with them the winds calmed. Jesus not only intentionally went to the disciples when they needed help but showed Peter what he could do when he was brave and showed what can happen if we get distracted and take our eyes off Jesus. We need to be brave and keep our eyes on Jesus.
This week’s activity is to make a boat and see if it can float! Makes some waves and wind effects and think of Jesus coming to the disciples when they needed help. Thank God for helping you as well.
A Prayer for Let’s Journey to the Cross (Linda Hughes)
Lord, as we travel through this season, we are aware that Lent can be a difficult time.
We like to do things in our own time and find it hard to be disciplined. Forgive us when we fail to do the right thing or when we find that we are eager to receive your love and forgiveness but are reluctant to return them back.
As we travel through Lent may we be encouraged to open our hearts and listen for your voice so we can discover what you want us to do and trust in your unconditional and everlasting love for us.