Jesus calls us to walk with him. To each one of us he says “come!”
StF 250 Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult
Loving God, you remind us over and over in your Word that you are always
with us. You tell us not to fear and you draw us close into your Presence. You
are the only place we find refuge in the storms that surround us and the only
place we can find peace and strength. We ask you for your words of truth and
power to strengthen us and we lift our hearts to you. Thank you for your
goodness and thank you that you know the journey that we undertake.
Forgive us when we ignore your call, when we choose to go our own way,
when our attitudes and unkind behaviour and words cause hurt to others and
when we are blind to the injustice, suffering and pain experienced by so many
in this cruel, unkind world. Help us to open our minds and our hearts and to be
beacons of your light and love to others. In the name of your dear son Jesus.
Reading. Matthew 14 v 22 -33
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of
him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed
them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he
was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land,
buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the
disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they
said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward
Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried
out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little
faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Hymn StF 629 God of my faith, I offer you my doubt.
Jesus had been busy feeding the five thousand and caring for them. Afterwards
he needed time alone with God his father. So, he sent the crowds away and
the disciples off in their boat and went up a mountain to pray. We all need
regular contact with God when our lives are at their busiest – time for renewal
Jesus was alone that evening and the disciples got caught up in a terrifying
storm, their boat battered by the wind and waves. Our lives are sometimes like
that too – peaceful one day and then overwhelmed by problems and
difficulties – our personal storms. For the disciples Jesus was there – he came
when they needed his calming presence. Perhaps he had realised that the wind
had become so violent that they could be in danger. We are told that he
walked on the water – however he got there he came with those reassuring
words “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Those words are ours to grasp too – during our own “storms” in life Jesus is
there just waiting for us to call upon him. Peter was so relieved and excited to
see Jesus that his fears left him briefly and he wanted to get across the water
to reach him. Jesus invited him to “come” and Peter started the journey before
being overwhelmed by his own fears and beginning to sink. Isn’t that a parallel
with what happens to us at times? We need to turn to Jesus just as Peter did
and have the courage to say “Lord, save me.”
The logo of the World Council of Churches is perhaps appropriately of a boat
on a stormy sea and this reading reminds us that however small our faith God
is with us and ready to uphold us as we go through the challenges of our own
Julian of Norwich or Mother Julian Lived in the 14 th century as an “Anchoress”
or religious recluse and lived through the Black Death – the pandemic of
bubonic plague which killed millions of people around the world. She was
critically ill and almost died at the age of 30 but the visions she had at that time
led to the strengthening of her faith and her writings which still exist today.
One of those says “he did not say, ‘you shall not be tempest tossed; you shall
not be work-weary; you shall not be distressed’. But he did say, ‘you shall not
be overcome’.” She was acutely aware of God’s love, of his power and of his
The RNLI is the United Kingdom’s Sea rescue service, and it will sometimes
simply “stand by” and keep watch on a boat or ship in trouble ready to
intervene if the situation deteriorates and it is called upon to help. Our God
could be said to always be on standby too. In Hebrews 13 v 5 we are told that
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” We do not have
to face our troubles alone, but we do need to trust him and call out to him.
Have you the courage to put your hand into the hand of God and trust him to
“never leave you or forsake you”?
Hymn StF 624 Calm me Lord, as you calmed the storm
Prayer of Intercession
Loving God, There is so much turmoil in this world. We see on the news the
storms of war. We pray for those who are caught up in conflicts: for soldiers
having to fight for their country; for their families worrying about their safety;
for those living in fear of their homes being destroyed. Lord, help everyone to
look to you to be their support and guide. We pray for all those caught up in
ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Niger. Help them to find
their comfort in you.
We pray for those whose livelihood is on the sea. We pray for their safety. We
pray for migrants who are travelling in tiny boats across huge seas trying to
reach safety and a better way of living. We ask you to bring them safely to
shore. We pray for their families who wait anxiously for news of their safety.
We pray for the people smugglers too, that you would give them eyes to see
that they are dealing with human beings, made in your image, who deserve
respect and love. We pray that you will convict them and help them turn away
from what they are doing.
We pray for those who are living through rough seas now: for those who are
suffering with constant pain; those facing difficult diagnoses; those who mourn
the loss of a beloved family member or friend; those who are depressed or
anxious. Lord, reach out and lift them. Help them to know your presence and
reassure them that you will never let them go.
Loving God, we think about climate change and it’s effects this summer, so wet
in some places, life-threateningly hot in others. We pray for farmers watching
their crops ruined by rain, while fire and drought ravages that of others. Help
those in power to work together to find solutions to the problems of climate
change and bring hope for the future.
We pray for all who have taken exams this summer. Give them peace of mind
and heart as they await their results and look forward to uncertain futures. Be
with them all as they negotiate the storms and calms ahead of them.
Loving God, we commit this week to you. Go before us into all the places we
expect to be and help us to find you in any new and unexpected places and
situations. Help us to listen to your voice. Help us to see all the possibilities
that you have in store for us.
Lord, when the storms get close:
save us, lift us, and help us keep our eyes fixed on you.
Thank you for being there for us in all the storms of life.
Help us to step out in faith and follow your lead,
secure in the knowledge that you are always there to lift us up. Amen
Hymn StF 645 Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?
Peter only knew life as a fisherman.
But he got out of the boat and followed you, Lord.
Help us to hear your voice,
get out of our boats and follow you.
In the week ahead,
may the world and its problems decrease
as you increase in our lives.
Keep us focused on your way,
looking ahead and trusting you.
These are the Worship at Home versions of the In Person Services, led by our Minister :-
Each Service has the videos of the songs and a transcript of the Sermon or reflection.
The Song references (StF) are from the Singing the Faith song book.
The videos of the songs are linked to YouTube or vimeo which may have advertising which Kingswood Methodist Church does not endorse.