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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Walkin' on the water

Some various notes for this Sunday's sermon...

"Jesus made the disciples get into the boat..." Not in John, but hnagkasen (made/forced/compelled) is in both Matthew and Mark. Being out in the boat on rough waters was Jesus' idea-- indeed, his command.

The boat as church - an ancient symbol. Thomas G. Long, in his Matthew commentary (p. 166): "Unlike the bowling league or the Coalition to Save Historic Buildings, the church is not a group of like minded people who, on their own initiative, rally around a common desire or a worthy cause. The church, rather, is a peculiar people, called by God and sent out onto a dangerous sea. Were it not for the authoritative command of Christ, no one would volunteer to climb into the boat.."

So... on to Peter...

Given the above, we commonly point to Peter's "little faith" shown when he began to sink. But wasn't that lack first shown earlier, when he demanded proof from Jesus - to step out of the boat in the first place? ("Lord, if it is you...").

Jesus pulled him up, and then they both went back to the boat-- back to where Jesus told them all to be in the first place. Only when they were all there (in the presence of Christ) was the sea calmed.

Back to Long (ibid): "Like demons, disease and death, the raging sea is one of the unruly powers, but Jesus is Lord even over the sea; he is Lord over all the powers of chaos and destruction that threaten the life of the church, the mission of God's people, and the victory of the kingdom of heaven."

What do you think of when you think of "church?" Given the above, can we really "not bother with organized religion, and still be Christian?" What about separating ourselves from other believers? I wonder if it's a coincidence: folks who don't get it are often assumed to be "missing the boat."


Blogger Father John said...

I like these thoughts. I've been working from an idea of "where can Jesus call home?" He sends the crowd of 5,000 away.. he sends the disciples away.. HE goes to a cave to pray. I keep getting snippets of Psalms... "He neither slumbers nor sleeps"121:?... "then I called upon the name of the Lord" 116:1-4.... oh well, I'm still in the ruminating phase.

August 06, 2008 3:53 PM  

Blogger Father John said...

Further rumination...
1) Feeding of 5K = Last Supper
2) JC sends the people away = JC and disciples retreat to solitary place (Gethsemane)
3) Disciples leave in boat = Disciples desert JC in garden
4) JC goes up mtn alone to pray = JC goes up Golgotha alone
5) Things get ugly on the sea = JC crucified
6) Disciples afraid in the boat = disciples afraid in the room in Jerusalem
7) Disciples think JC ghost on water = Disciples think JC ghost in room
8) Do not be afraid = Peace be with you
9) why did you doubt = do not be doubting but believing
10) I am with you always even unto the end of the age....
Yes... you are correct... JC is with us when we are in communion with one another... when we are in the boat together... Where is JC's home?... with us!.... ah... where is it?... "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.".... I don't know if it is very preachable, but it sure is fun.

August 06, 2008 5:12 PM  

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