Our Gospel readings, this morning, are the first chapter of Mark and the 14th chapter of Matthew -- although the story in Matthew continues the story we've been following in Mark: Jesus feeding the 5000 and sending the Disciples into the boats. The first chapter in Mark is Jesus calling the Disciples -- to follow, to have faith. In the reading in Matthew the storm is what is the main part of the story. (v. 24) The Disciples are "many furlongs from shore, beaten by the waves and the wind is against them." If you think about it they are also pretty tired - they have just returned from ministry, helped Jesus feed a few (5000) people and it is the middle of the night. And Jesus comes to them. He comes walking on the water, calls to Peter, who also walks on the water (only for a few steps but he does get out of the boat and walk on water) and He gives them peace.
In his book "Attitude is Your Paintbrush" James Moore points out "faith" means "trust, risk, work." (page 88) We trust, in Jesus Christ, and we take the risk of doing God's work. We do this because we have faith and because we know Emmanuel - God with us. He know Jesus WILL come to us -- just like He did for the Disciples "walking on the water." We know this because even though we have had the "mountain top high" we have felt God even more when we are "in the storm, facing the waves" and tired. We have often felt presence of God the strongest as we "faced the giant(s)" and continued to move forward.
As we start a new month, prepare for the "end" of another summer, and "face our giants" what is our attitude? Do we really believe? Do we really have "faith"? Can we feel the "hope" of God's presence?