Just the other day I had a friend reference the story of Peter walking on water to Jesus.
I'm very familiar with the story. I grew up with images of a sinking Peter in the waves and a gracious Jesus reaching out a hand to lift him up. I remember dreaming of the ability to walk on water and hearing people snidely say, "So and So thinks they walk on water."
But as I return to the story I'm struck with how beautifully constructed it is.
There's the unexpected return of Jesus in a miraculous way. There's a devoted follower of Jesus who believes that this kind of miracle could be one of participation and not just observation. There's a thrill of joining Jesus and then failure when the insanity of the moment sinks in (*fist pump* - nailed it).
The story operates as a striking metaphor for so many aspects of faith, doubt, courage, success and failure.
How do we respond when hope joins us in a moment of struggle? Do we stand in awe or join in? Where are the places we're sure we don't belong? How can we be searching for proof we don't belong and allow that to sabotage us?
This story isn't one isolated example of the power of the Biblical narrative to help us reinterpret the world around us. There are so many stories that help us see God and ourselves in a new light. This impact can be lost if we spend all our time laboring over the events as either being literally true or literally false. It can strip the power from the narrative so fully that it's no longer worth engaging.
I hope you've been with us through this series and I hope the topic of Biblio-Idolatry has been one that offers freedom. This message finishes up with Harriet Congdon. I really hope you find a hand offered to pull you from a sinking relationship to the Bible to one of engagement and hope.