Scripture Passage: Matthew 14:22-33 (NRSV)
In 2013, I was leading a small group of seniors at church camp. The curriculum called for a trust walk where half of the campers were blindfolded and the other half were sighted. Normally, the sighted campers lead the others around on a flat surface and the blindfolded campers trust that their guides won’t lead them into a ditch or a tree or cause them to stumble in some way.
Since these were all experienced, savvy campers, I recognized that they had all done trust walks at camp or in youth group before. In order to convey the point of trust, I challenged them to take the activity to a new level. The blindfolded were led up a difficult trail up the side of the hill to the cross. If you have been to Canyon Camp, this was not the normal path that the majority takes to get there.
We came to a chasm that requires you to hug the side of the cliff and to step across. I gave the blind an out and told them that they could take off their bandannas for this part but all of them chose to trust their guides.
Each one of them made it across and eventually took off their bandannas at the cross and felt good about the accomplishment! The guides took pride in helping them up such a difficult path. The blind took pride in the trust they put in their guides and in themselves.
This Sunday’s passage is the famous passage of Jesus walking on water. Peter wants to walk out to Jesus and quickly begins to sink. There is something universal about his experience if we look at facing difficulties. There are times we have stepped out in faith and felt good about what we’ve accomplished. There are also times when we have failed or been insecure and needed God’s reassurance and help. Sometimes they occur simultaneously like they did for Peter!
As we think about the trust walk I mentioned above, this may be a good metaphor for the church. We all have a need to help one another along life’s path. Sometimes we are the guides and sometimes we are the blind. But we need each other along the way. In the midst of all the changes we face, this is one truth that stays constant. For Christians, we seek to recognize how God is present in this trust walk we are on together.
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