And, a new chapter begins as we start our journey in ministry across uncharted, but sacred water. It would be much easier to stay the course we are already so familiar with, the course well-traveled and comfortable. But, just as Jesus called Peter out on the water, so our church is being called to trust where He is leading us, keeping our eyes focused on Him as described in Matthew 14:22-32, “Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
It is time for us to get out of the boat and trust that God will not only keep us from sinking, but will bless our congregation for having bold faith and courage in what He will do in this new journey. As we join together in worship on Sunday mornings and in every other way possible, I know He will strengthen the family bond we have with one another and continue to mold and shape us into who He desires us to be as His disciples. It won’ be easy. The waves will come. The wind will blow. But, we will hold tightly to the strong hand of God knowing that His love never fails. And, Heaven will rejoice at the wonderful things God will do through us to transform our community and our world into one true Body of Christ, unwilling to let cultural differences divide us, but instead embracing how wonderful those differences are and how they enrich our congregation and our world.