Nine years ago, I preached my final sermon at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, DE. I had served there for nine years as Youth Pastor/Associate Pastor. That final sermon was from the story of Jesus walking on water in Matthew 14, and the audacity of Peter to ask Jesus to call him out of the boat to walk on water. Jesus calls Peter out and Matthew records:
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:29
I think too often we tend to see Peter take his eyes off of Jesus by looking at the storm raging around him. It’s true- we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and not be distracted by what rages around us.
But don’t miss this: Peter walked on the water!
Author John Ortberg wrote a book titled, “If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat.” If we want to accomplish great things, if we want to see God work in us in new ways, we have to get out of the boat. Looking back, I preached that message more as an encouragement for myself. In being called out to Hope/Magnolia/Orchard, I needed to get out of the boat.
Tomorrow, I have the opportunity to step out of the boat again. This time, called back to Avenue to serve as the Lead Pastor. I am certain about the call to Avenue/Milford 18 years ago- and I am certain that God is faithful and that God desires to move in and through me, Avenue Church and the Milford community in new ways. My prayer is that you’ll join me and jump out of the boat as we keep our eyes on Jesus!