As little as we are
In each generation, there seems to be particular things which cause so much fear and anxiety. Most recently, of course, there has been the COVID pandemic but there is the fear too of such things as climate change and environmental disaster, to name just a few. In other generations and in other places there has been the fear of war, of nuclear threat, of disease and famine – the list seems endless. We also have individual fears and anxieties caused by our personal situation. Fear can debilitate us, disable us, freeze us to the spot, cause us to have that terrible sinking feeling.
Today, in the gospel reading, Peter, in one brief moment, has that sinking feeling. The fear and anxiety that this figure walking to them across the water was a ghost or a ghoul is dispelled for a moment as they recognise it is Jesus who is calling out to them. Then, in that brief moment of trust, Peter walks across the water but the external stormy conditions cause him to lose focus. He begins to sink but Jesus holds him. ‘Why did you doubt?’ Jesus asks.
That could be a question for all of us. ‘Why did you doubt?’ Yes, there is much that brings fear, much that we worry about, much that concerns us, disables us, and gives us that awful sinking feeling. But Jesus is with us, he has come to save us, he is never far away – but we do need to be able to recognise that he is here, with us, holding us. He has come to save us.
God our Father, help us to be alert to the presence of Jesus who brings us comfort and healing, for he has come to save us. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.