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We’re all in this boat together – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Aug 112008

This week’s Gospel reading was Matthew 14:22-33, which is Peter walking on the water to meet Jesus, who was already walking on the water. My priest had a different take on this passage than one I have heard before. His take is that Peter wasn’t supposed to be out of the boat in the first place. He interpreted the boat as the world and the water as some kind of ecstatic, guru bliss that we want to stay in instead of the world. That’s not where Peter is supposed to be. We’re not supposed to be there either. We aren’t saved by ourselves out in the eternal beyond. Jesus put Peter back in the boat with the other eleven disciples. Then Jesus got into the boat, and the storm that had been tossing the boat around stopped. We are to be in this world. We are to work out our salvation together in this world. We are to build the kingdom of God in the here and now.

This reflects Jesus’ earthly ministry. Jesus came to this world; he came to us. He walked and ministered in this world, and then he told us to continue his ministry of love and compassion to the world around us. I like this new way to look at this story. What do you think?

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 Posted by at 8:40 pm

  4 Responses to “We’re all in this boat together”

  1. i really like this take on the scripture!

    we must have been reading some of the same commentaries–i didn’t go to the same place as your priest. but i did suggest that peter’s “little faith” was evidenced by him stepping out of the boat, not trusting/recognizing Jesus’ voice/vision. and said that we need to ask if we’re stepping out of the boat in faith or fear.

  2. Thanks for stopping by. It sounds your people heard a good sermon too.

  3. Hey! I found you through the facebook Blog Network. Love this interpretation of the story…well, mostly I like the implications of it–the idea of building the kingdom in the here and now. I imagine this could have interesting implications for your call to women to reclaim the understanding of vocation.

  4. Welcome Muser! I hadn’t thought about linking this to women and vocation. Thank you for the idea. And thank you for all your comments.

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