During the Sundays after Pentecost we spend time reading through the Gospel of Matthew. This morning’s reading from Chapter 14 portrays Jesus sending the disciples off in a boat by themselves on the sea. A storm arises and Jesus walks on the water coming near to the boat. Far from comforting the disciples who frightened by the storm, Jesus’ presence further terrifies them. Jesus says what he so often says to those who are frightened, “Do not be afraid.” Our patron saint, Peter, stepping out in faith, walks towards Jesus on the water, only to be frightened again by the strong wind. Jesus reaches out his hand to save Peter saying, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Human life is woven with times of fear and doubt. The gospel stories remind us that God is with us and God’s voice, bidding us not to be afraid, rings out challenging us to trust God’s presence however difficult our circumstances. We might well resonate with Peter’s struggle with fear but his story hints that God does not seem to want to give up on us.

May we know God with us, reaching out God’s hand to hold us, when life seems very like a stormy sea.

The Rev’d Canon Jenny Wilson