But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come, to You, on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. Matthew 14:27-29
Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden; maybe they even walked on water. Boats are man-made. We live in boats. One day, when I was admiring the outside waves from inside the intrepid yacht where I live and serve, I saw Jesus walking around outside with my neighbors. Their boats had begun to sink, and they were communing with Jesus. I stepped from the sanctity of my home, into the chaos, meeting the King of order who was walking with my neighbors in instability made stable.
This happened on a Saturday night, shortly before Lent, when my family ventured near the railroad tracks, to the other end of Church Street from where our Sanctuary is. We worshiped with a Pentecostal congregation, which was 80 percent Honduran, of which 90 percent spoke Spanish. Though we did not speak much with our mouths, we were fed through our strangely warmed hearts, the fruits of the Spirit.
Pastor Tomy and another minister interpreted for us, helping me understand the liturgy. It asked, “Who lives,” and was answered by, “Christ.” It called, “To His name,” and was answered with, “Be Glory.” Many shipwrecked children of God worshiped in the church “El Kairos” — which is a combination of Spanish and Greek, meaning “The Time.” It is the in-breaking time, of the God outside of it.
In stepping out of the boats we live in, we see others in the water. Some are drowning; some are clasping life preservers attached to their boats; and some are in impoverished places of abundance, needing only Jesus. By stepping out of my boat, I noticed the names of many of the 92 percent of impoverished children at our local elementary school. The vastly diverse population of roughly one-third Hispanic, one-third black, and one-third white comes to view.
As I hear Jesus say, “Come,” I realize now is the time, “el Kairos,” to step out in faith, because my attempts to grab the Spirit from on-board my yacht alone are vanity, like chasing after the wind. The Spirit is the Wind that moves us, that blows the windows on our secure boats open, which calls us to find new security.
Let us get out of the boat and walk with Jesus, with the Wind, even if it causes waves. It isn’t about our ability to walk, but about the incarnate God, who walked on water, walked 40 days in the wilderness without sin, walked to the Place of the Skull, walked out of the Tomb, and walks near us saying, “Come.”
Walk faithfully this Lent.