Take heart when surrounded by Chaos

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge that we are on land of the Kaurna people, the traditional custodians of the Adelaide Plains.We are awed that they celebrate the religious significance of place, plant and all living creatures; and that care for the earth is implanted in their law. We honour them and also delight in the sacred in our midst. We pray that in the power of the Holy Spirit we might work together for reconciliation and justice in this land

Matthew 14:22-33 NRSV

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. 27But 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.’ 29He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

Reflection

Faith is daring to believe that God is with us in the boat as it makes its way through the storm, battered by the waves and winds in the dark. God was never apart from the disciples. God was with them as they were sent and remained with them. The disciples could not see this, as they were overwhelmed with the Chaos that surrounded and engulfed them. Our world is in a time of Chaos. A Pandemic engulfs the whole globe. Yet we are in a bit of a bubble. Even so, the virus keeps trying and breaks into our little bubble and we deal with it. So far we are keeping it at bay. Odds are we can’t keep this up for a year or two. Our bubble may burst. Hopefully not. It is easy to have the Chaos of this time overwhelm us as the disciples were overwhelmed. It is easy to overlook that God is with us in our boat, in our bubble while we are surrounded by Chaos. “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Is Jesus’s reassurance to us. Have faith. Our faith is daring to believe that God is with us made real in the community of faith, as we live surrounded with our current Chaos.

Where do you see God, what gives you heart? Lessens your fear?

Prayer of Confession

Jesus, we call to you,
In honesty and humility.

A silence is kept…

We are struggling, and often feel overwhelmed.
At times, when we are hurting most,
we do not have the words or courage to call on you.
When frightened, we often lose our way,
and feel that we are being subsumed
by all the worries we are carrying.
Please call to us today,
for we are afraid, and find it hard to look to you.
In our painful times,
we do not have the courage
to look away from the difficulties,
"to the promises of your love.
Call to us, O gracious friend.

Words of Assurance 

When we are feeling overwhelmed,
Jesus says gently
‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’
We are blessed, supported and loved.
Let us not be afraid to draw on this strength,
For it is Jesus who calls to us, to do so.

Rev Anne Hewitt