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Walking on Water - Pastor's Pen for 13th August 2023

Napier Waterfront August 2023

Marine Parade, Napier is not the place for swimming or walking on water, or any such personal aquatics. Generally it is a washing machine of strong currents and boulders. However, the promenade is pleasant and I enjoyed my run along there on Sunday as you were singing a variety of hymns and enjoying that special musical service. I was down that way to connect with family, particularly giving my kids some quality grandparent time, which was overdue.

The story about Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14 challenges our 21st century scientific mindset and our life of faith. Is it for real? Did it really occur? We are aware of God's intervention in our lives, but we are also aware that there are things we have to live with that don't always get healed or resolved. Does that mean we are those of 'little faith'? Miracles unsettle us and challenge our understanding of the New Testament.

Most of us believe that God hears our prayers and responds to them, but generally not according to our preferred timing or shopping list. But we are shaped by the prayer journey. Perhaps we can see the story in Matthew as a kind of parable of our lives; Our voyage is bumpy and we are feeling a bit seasick. Jesus approaches our situation, but we are not sure it's really Jesus and remain unsure what to do. Like Peter, we are prepared to exercise a little faith and step out of the boat, but then the lashing waves of life and the rushing reality of the storm freak us out a bit. In the the end our prayer is Peter's prayer, short, but effective: "Lord, save me!" (Matt 14:30)

Even in our small, wavering attempts at faith, the Lord is faithful and full of grace. May you know His shalom this week.

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