Sermon for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Solemn Mass, by the Reverend Dr. Peter Ross Powell
Walking on Water? Really? Are we supposed to believe that Jesus did that? When I was in seminary we were taught that there was a difference healing miracles and nature miracles. We were to trust and believe in the healing ones and be suspect of the nature ones. Of course doing this empties the Gospel of much of its wonder. In the more than 40 years since I left seminary I’ve evolved in my thinking about nature miracles. Quite apart from what I believe, it is clear to me that Mark believed that Jesus walked on water. Mark was not giving us an allegory, a fable, or a metaphor. He was reporting the facts as he understood and believed them. Does that mean that we can thereby dismiss the Gospel? Or at least this particular Gospel Reading? I think not. Post-Modern scholarship asks us to enter into the world of Mark. So if Mark believed this happened and I seriously doubt it did, what do I do with this text? Can I surmount my rational scientific (actually in my case engineering) mind and extract meaning from this text? Obviously yes or I wouldn’t be preaching on it!