August 13, 2023

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

  • First reading and Psalm
    • Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
    • Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Alternate First reading and Psalm
    • 1 Kings 19:9-18
    • Psalm 85:8-13
  • Second reading
    • Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel
    • Matthew 14:22-33

The gospel from Matthew:
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.

Christ Walking on Water
ca. 1880 Klever, Julius Sergius von

And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Losses can come in waves, as they did this week for Pastor Stevenson. One loss was the death of a former professor, whom he fondly remembers as the kind professor who stood by him as he was doing thesis work at the time of conflict with a church synod. Our first reading this Sunday is the Joseph saga, which lacks kindness. It is an important story in that it explains Egypt’s involvement with the Israelites. Without Joseph there would be no Israel. We see the hand of God at work. No blood was shed as Joseph was sold into slavery. In our gospel reading in Matthew, the disciples become afraid. Peter was terrified as he began to sink in the water. Then Jesus kindly says “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.” Peter is being tested, Pastor continues……………

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