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Vanderbilt University
401 24th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37212

campusminister@ukirknashville.org

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walking on water

September 20, 2019

 

We've spent the last two weeks discussing the story of Peter walking on water in Matthew 14. Since this is a familiar story of unraveling for many of us (that often doesn't show Peter in the best light), we were excited to start with an image from the "Unraveled" Sanctified Art series, called "Step into the Swell." Looking at the painting while listening to the scripture literally gave us new eyes to see more than this story's usual summary: Jesus invites Peter to walk on water, Peter sinks, because he doubts. 

 

Looking at the painting, we noted that often when things fall apart, when we're anxious or afraid of what is to come, or a storm is approaching, like it is here, we can't see beyond what's right in front of us. Similarly, the view of this painting is very tight. We can't see how big the boat is (is it secure?) or beyond that wave (is there another wave coming or is the sun shining back there?)... with these things in view, we were able to see how brave Peter was to venture out on the water at all. And as we spent an additional week in worship with this story and painting, we thought more about how maybe the focus of this story isn't the storm or Peter, but how Jesus was right there, to catch Peter. And we loved the sentiment of the artist, Lisle Gwynn Garrity, who said, "Is there something about unraveling that makes us a bit less risk-averse, a bit more willing to try what we wouldn't have dared when everything felt predictable and sure?" Amen.

 

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