Our February theme is "Miracles." On February 8, we'll read and share some thoughts about the Gospel of Matthew's account of Jesus and then Peter walking on water (14th chapter).
We are a people who care more about whether our members will allow each other to grow into a disciple of Christ regardless of where they now find themselves than whether our members believe in the literal Word of scripture or not.
With that in mind, two things about this miracle kept cropping up in my prayers and readings: 1) the disciples on the boat didn't recognize that it was Jesus walking on the water to them, and 2) Peter had to negotiate his own needs into his willingness to believe in what Jesus could do ("Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.")
I wonder how often we , like the disciples or as the disciples, don't recognize God acting through Jesus or other humans, because why... Is it that we aren't expecting either the action to be possible or the person presenting the will of God to be the capable of acting on God's behalf? What is it we expect?
When I was growing up in what I fondly call "No where rural Minnesota" the legend about one of the widows in the area (settled by western Europeans) is that her husband had died in the war because he wouldn't accept a blood transfusion from an African American soldier. He didn't accept life when it was freely offered. What was he expecting?
I often hear from people who are mad at God. Either they are mad because something happened and they think God's plan was for that to happen or something happened that they think God should have prevented. Again I ask, "Why do they expect that?" I believe that God has a plan for all of humanity to live in peace and abundance, but I don't believe in a God that orchestrates, for example, every word we say - no free will there. What are we expecting? What don't we recognize?
Don't get me wrong, I believe God can do whatever God chooses - my understanding of God is not limited by God but my ability and my choice. But what is the nature of what God chooses. And what is the nature of what we proclaim that God chooses?