• Jesus Walks on Water •

WELCOME.  In light of breaking news this week, we will want to hear a story from the Bible. Whether you are pro-cop or pro-African American, or both, I hope we are PRO-GOD.  So, take a moment to clear your mind, to listen imaginatively, and to let yourself enter into and experience  • The Story of our Savior  •

CAFE QUESTIONS: How can you sleep at a time like this? Are you worth a miracle? How long was your longest, non-stop conversation? My biggest fear is that there is no God. My second biggest fear is drowning or suffocation. What do you do with fear?

HYMNS & WORSHIP: “Like an Avalanche”

PSALMS responsive reading @Psalm 107:23-32, NLT. The following Psalm is undated and anonymous. King Hezekiah may have been the one who collected them.

23
Some went off to sea in ships,
plying the trade routes of the world.
24
They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action,
his impressive works on the deepest seas.
25
He spoke, and the winds rose,
stirring up the waves.
26
Their ships were tossed to the heavens
and plunged again to the depths;
the sailors cringed in terror.
27
They reeled and staggered like drunkards
and were at their wits’ end.
28
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
29
He calmed the storm to a whisper
and stilled the waves.
30
What a blessing was that stillness
as he brought them safely into harbor!
31
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
32
Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation
and before the leaders of the nation.

PAINTING:  Project Rembrandt’s incredible painting on the wall. Rembrandt’s, “Christ in the Storm,” is about today’s background story where Jesus commands, “Peace, be still.”

christ_in_the_storm_on_the_sea_of_galilee-large

Rembrandt “Christ In The Storm On The Sea Of Galilee” 1633 Oil on canvas 160 x 127 cm (62.99″ x 50″)

What I’m seeing is a painterly painting, where the figures are not evenly illuminated, but shed on important bodily features, like the halo glow around the head of Jesus, and the disciples holding on the base of the tall, upright mast. I’m seeing a recessional construction, dominated by figures placed at an angle to the picture plane and receding into depth. moving back from the front plane, creating action, saying something psychological is happening here >>> in the tilted ship we the disciples fighting for their lives. I’m seeing an open composition of vigorous diagonals that contrast with the one vertical of the frame anchored to Christ. Diagonal lines not only play on the surface of the picture, but move back into depth. The composition is dynamic rather than static; it suggests movement and is full of momentary effects, as opposed to tranquility. This painting is about contrast. I am most taken by the contrast between the massive waves breaking and an almost imperceptible nod of Christ.

SCRIPTURE @Isaiah 43:1-4, NLT.  The prophecies of  Isaiah in chapters 40-66 cannot be dated. Isaiah may have written it at the end of the time of Assyria’s invasion or at some other point late in his ministry, which ended between 701 and 686 BC.

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia[a] and Seba in your place.
4
Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.

Narrate the BACKGROUND @Matthew 8:23-27, and 14:13-21, NLT.

Jesus got into the boat and started across the Sea of Galilee with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck, with waves breaking into the boat, but Jesus was sleeping! The disciples went and woke him, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him.”

This is where our story begins. NARRATE the story @Matthew 14:22-33, NLT, twice.

Jesus Walks on Water

22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![b]

28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong[c] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

This is the story we have, and that’s the way the story goes. Let us spend some time to WONDER and dialogue about this story, and bring any questions or observations we have to the table, Questions may not necessarily be answered, but will be given voice and raise interest. For example: Were there any sharks in the water? Were the disciples sea captains? Could the disciples swim? Was there a full moon?

Let us get into the CHARACTERS of the story. Look for Jesus in everyone. Identify Jesus in their story.

What definitive character traits do we know about the disciples? What would it feel like to move forward in a ship without Jesus? All hands on board, we must harness power from the oars. The personal waves are rolling against us, and our ship is swaying. We hear a familiar voice, and see a distorted figure walking on water our way. What stormy thoughts could have taken possession of our minds? Jesus climbs into the boat, and the wind dies down, reducing our chance of motion sickness. Besides exhaustion, what are we feeling?

What do we know about Peter“Be of good cheer; it is I; Be not afraid.” Did Peter just hear what he thinks he heard? Peter cried out, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” What thoughts might have crossed Peter’s pedestrian mind? What would it feel like to walk on water? A minute passes, and now we’re sinking in the water. What would it feel like to be grabbed from our visceral experience? Jesus stretched forth his hand to catch us. and said, “you of little faith, why did you doubt?” What do we clearly see?

What do we know of Jesus in this story? What would happen if we were alone through the night in prayer with God? Jesus calls on Peter with a powerful concept, “Come.” What hopes might Jesus have for his disciples? After observing his own natural poses and small movements, Peter is submerged in H2O and cried out, “Lord, save me!” What might Jesus be feeling?

What did we learn about GOD in this story? God takes what ways he pleases to save his people. God commands peace. God is master of the €lements with €verlasting arms. It is the Lord, it can be no other, and he never fails to give us the help we need.

What aspects of this story or character, foreshadow the GOOD NEWS, especially in relation to what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross and through his resurrection.

• Jesus immediately saves those who call on his name. When calamity surrounds us, drowns us, we don’t have to sink to the bottom of the sea to cry out, “Save me.”

Storying EVALUATION:
1.Inductive teaching present 2.Biblical answers validated 3.Did we see Jesus 4.Clear questions 5.Logical flow of story 6.Affirmations given 7.Low participants encouraged 8.Who did most of the talking

Our goal is to seriously apply this story to our life. Our challenge is to read our world, and to engage our world with a series of words in a prayer, a poem, a song, a short story, or to create something that EXPRESSes the depths of our hearts response and share our style of relating at a level of sheer intimacy.

PRAYER:
I pray that your teaching may spread rapidly and be honored
from: Isaiah Predicts Judah’s Deliverance @2Kings 19:29-34 in response to King Hezekiah’s prayer

POEM
“Lake is Base”

Yes, Lord, you know all things
You know that I love you
You are the King!

I’m still out here
playing in the water
lake is base
the water is fine
you are mine
you are mine
you are mine
your form He formed
first foot forward I move
to meet the miraculous
Master of the €lements
€verlasting arms
I don’t have to sink
to the bottom of the sea
just walk through the fire
take what ways you please
to save your people
your love keeps me close
jumping in the waves
walking on the water

Yes, Lord, you know all things
You know that I love you
You are the King!
~ Peter

Stacy Sweeney