Readings for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 14:22-33; Romans 10:5-17; Job 38:4-18

It’s said of Martin Luther that the only reason he became a monk was because of a terrified vow he made while caught outdoors during a fierce thunderstorm. Anyone who’s ridden out a Nebraska windstorm while camping can tell you that’s not such an unbelievable tale. Many are the fervent prayers I’ve prayed from the floor of our tent while the wind and rain shook our family from sleep. Humans can build skyscrapers and travel into space. But we shall never conquer the elemental forces of nature. They belong to Almighty God alone, and only He can control them. And if the storms of this life make us feel small and weak – all the better! For then, in our humbled state, we can see clearly our need for Jesus who is Lord of the wind and waves. As one VBS song puts it: “With Jesus in the boat, we can ride through the storm!”

       In the Old Testament reading, Job is grappling with the miserable circumstances of his life and questioning God’s right to allow him to suffer as he does. God’s answer is gentle, but firm. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38)

      In the Gospel reading, Jesus comes to his beleaguered disciples walking on the waves of a surging sea. Their response (and Peter’s, in particular) shows a lack of faith in Jesus’ power as the divine Son of God. Still, Jesus deals gently and mercifully with them, and the evening ends peacefully (Mt 14).

      In the Epistle reading, Paul wants us to know that our righteousness before God comes not through our keeping of the law, but through our trusting in the lordship of the Resurrected Christ. Call on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved! (Rom 9)