Ep.088: Walk on Water.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”. 

In John chapter 6 after Jesus lectured the crowd about free lunch and spiritual food, he disappeared for a while. That evening, the disciples set out across the Sea of Galilee in a boat and as it grew dark, the wind picked up. The waves grew rough and rowing was difficult. Sometime in the night, they saw a figure walking on the waves toward the boat. They were afraid.

The figure on the water said to them, “It’s me, don’t be afraid!”. They recognized him as Jesus and welcomed him into the boat. 

Let’s pray. 

Jesus, often we feel like the disciples at night on that rough sea, lost in the dark, making no progress. 

We feel this in our bodies as they age and deteriorate. Once we were healthy and carefree, we now know sickness and pain. Some of us survived chronic fatigue, and now row cautiously through life, conserving our limited supply of energy and health. Some of us live with Krohn’s disease or fibromyalgia, rowing through nights of pain. Some of us have mental health issues, caught in bipolar swings or self-harming obsessions. And some of us are fortunate enough to be aging normally, feeling the onset of arthritis and forgetfulness, fearing the signs of dementia. 

Jesus, you who had a body, you who walked on water, come to us in our pain and distress. Climb into our boat, take us where our rowing cannot go. 

Jesus, thoughts and dreams disturb our nights and take away our rest. We obsess about health, family, jobs, and the politics of our world. We imagine a comfortable life with more money, better friends, a richer love life, and a more fulfilling job. Why does no one see our hidden talents, our inner beauty, our real potential? Is there no end to this lethargy and resistance through which we row? 

Jesus, walk to us on the water of our troubled thoughts. Still the storm, steer the boat, take us where cannot row. 

Jesus, we rise and fall on waves of emotion. Some waves are high with hope and grace, some plunge us into troughs of despair. Sometimes there is joy and laughter, sometimes pain and loss. We ride the waves and keep rowing, but the harbor is never near.  

Jesus, come to us on the sea of our emotions. Join our journey, share our joys, comfort our pain, soothe our losses. Row with us through the rough seas to calm waters. 

Jesus, we feel our spiritual life going nowhere. We read the Bible, but it seems dry and tasteless. We say our prayers, but they bounce off an iron ceiling. We try to meditate but our thoughts are lost in distractions. We lift our hearts to worship, but they sink into the waves of busyness.

Jesus, walk to us on the sea of your spirit. Rescue us, live your life in us, take our spiritual lives to places where we cannot row. 

Jesus, we sink in many difficulties. But we hear again your word, that our duty and glory is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Oh you who walk on water, walk to us on the sea of life, take us where we cannot row, take us where we need to go. 

Amen. 

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.

Ep.086: Free Lunch.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”. 

In John chapter 6, a large crowd followed Jesus into the wilderness. Jesus said to Philip, “Where will we buy bread for these people?”–clearly a trick question, because Jesus wasn’t planning to buy bread at all. Philip said, “That’s expensive. We don’t have enough money.” On hearing this, Andrew said,  “There’s a boy with here five buns and two small fish.” So Jesus multiplied the fish and buns to feed the crowd. There were baskets of leftovers and the people said, “Wow. Free lunch. We like this prophet.” 

They liked him so much that they followed him the next day. Jesus said, “All you want is another free lunch! But what you really need is the bread of God that comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” The crowd  replied, “Is that like free lunch every day? We’re in!”

Then Jesus dropped a bombshell. He said, “I am the bread of life that came from heaven. Anyone who comes to me will never go hungry. Anyone who believes in me will never be thirsty. The bread you need is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”  

The people said, “That’s crazy talk. What kind of bread are you? You’re not from heaven. We know your father and mother and your home in Nazareth. You are just a peasant like us. We’re not cannibals; we can’t eat your flesh.”

Once again Jesus’ teaching led the people into mystery and confusion. Some of the things Jesus did were really attractive– making wine, providing free lunch, healing the paralyzed. But some of his sayings are just crazy: be born again, eat my flesh, drink my blood, take up your cross and follow me.  

Let’s pray. 

Jesus, we’re never sure how you move from literal meanings to metaphors. We understand  free lunch. But when we come back the next day, you stop the food truck and suggest we eat your flesh. If you were a salesman, we’d press charges of false advertising or bait-and-switch. 

Jesus, so much of our life is physical. We eat and shave and sleep and shop. But how can we connect with the spiritual world? Will Donald Trump teach us how to cut a deal with you? Will Justin Trudeau coach our smile and and furnish our wardrobe? We need your metaphors, Jesus, to guide us into a spiritual life, to give us a vision of the kingdom of heaven. In our darkness, shine your light. In the silence of the universe, speak your word. When we are hungry, feed us with your body. When we are thirsty, help us drink your water.

Help us to see through your impossible metaphors to the new experience you offer us, to the new relationship you invite us into. Jesus, we receive your  words as gifts. Help us to be born again, to eat your flesh and drink your blood. In our daily routines of eating and sleeping and working and playing,  help us live a new life in the spirit. 

Amen.

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.