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SUNDAY 9th AUGUST: THE 9TH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

 

READINGS

1 Kings 19: 9-18

Matthew 14: 22-33

 

REFLECTION

 

Steven Frayne is better known as Dynamo, Magician Impossible. The title is an appropriate description, for he performs seemingly impossible feats before live audiences, such as levitating, walking up the side of buildings and many more amazing stunts. In June 2011, Dynamo walked on the surface of the River Thames in front of the Palace of Westminster to the delight and astonishment of a large crowd. He was photographed and videoed walking on water. Nobody, however, fell down and worshipped him, for no matter how convincing his performance, everyone was aware it was some kind of optical illusion.

 

When Jesus walked on the surface of the lake, as we read in our reading from Matthew, his friends in the boat were terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost. We are told that the boat had been battered by the waves and was far from land, but the rough surface of the water didn't concern Jesus. He had spent the whole night on the mountain saying his prayers, so perhaps it was this spiritual strength that gave him superhuman powers.

But Peter was so bemused by the human side of Jesus' nature walking on the water that he immediately challenged him. “If you can do it, so can I!” But his immature behaviour was short lived, for, like any human being, Peter soon began to sink. When he realised he was in danger of drowning he called out, “Lord save me!” When they were safely in the boat, all the disciples began to worship Jesus, saying “Truly you are the Son of God.”

 

It seems that Matthew's purpose in recording this story is to prove that Jesus was not only the Son of God, but to confirm that he had divine qualities.

 

While it is true that the Church, with Jesus at the centre offers a place of stillness and sanctuary in all the troubles that life presents to us, the boat should never be static. The purpose of a boat is to get somewhere.

The disciples had to be active within the boat. If they had been curled up in the hold, they would never have seen the inspiring sight of Jesus walking on the water. If we wish to be inspired by Jesus, we need to be actively working on his behalf in a dynamic boat rather than passively waiting for him to come to us.

 

PRAYER

 

Gracious God,

often you act in ways we do not expect,

you speak in ways we do not always understand,

you come to us at times and in places we least imagine.

Teach us to be awake to your prompting,

and to respond whenever you call.

Teach us to listen to your voice,

to respond gladly, offering whatever you ask

whenever you need it,

to the glory of your name.

Amen.

 

Every Blessing,

 

Canon Dave                                                Sat. 8th August

Canon Dave’s Weekly Message

Dear All

 

Although it was so good to be back in St. Peter's Church last Sunday for the first time in five months, it was really quite strange. Only 30 people in church, no singing, everyone wearing masks, no coffee at the end and everyone disappearing quickly after the service. After saying all this, those who were there seemed to enjoy it. This will probably be the pattern for many months – please don't forget to book your place!

I want to thank all those at St. Peter's and St. Anne's for their continuing financial support over the past few months to the two churches, as bills still have to be paid. Your generosity is very much appreciated.