On the silent retreat a few weeks ago, I did eventually make it to reading the passage I had intended to, the story of Peter walking out on the water to Jesus in Matthew 14. What struck me as I read through is that Peter actively cries out for Jesus to save him as he begins to sink. Up to that point in the Gospel of Matthew, Peter has built up a relationship with Jesus. Even within this story itself, Peter calls out to Jesus asking to be invited to walk out to Him. It is within this established relationship then, that Peter cries out for help, instead of being content to sink silently along the venture towards Christ.
With this story in mind, I decided to try going back to a church that I had been to a few weeks previously. The church I had attended in the intermittent time had a great service, yet even when I stuck around for the coffee hour, there were not many signs of a vibrant community and I slipped out the door. As I drove out to this other church the week following the silent retreat, I was praying the whole time (with my eyes on the road), praising God for the beauty of the fall foliage which was in full swing and praying for God to make it clear if I was to attend that church in further weeks or keep searching. Before the service even started, several people came up to introduce themselves. The greetings continued after the service as I got to know the members of the church who now well into their adult life had been attending the church since childhood along with those who had recently started attending. Even as I walked back to my car in the parking lot, someone said hi and carried on a conversation for five minutes. It became clear that as I continue venturing into seminary, this would be a church that would not let me sink silently but actively reach out to me and call me to cling to the Gospel.
Being a month of thanksgiving, this week I am particularly thankful for all of the communities that I am surrounded by. I am thankful for the new community of friends at seminary, for continuing contact with friends and professors from undergraduate, family at home, and this church community.
Who do we call out to when we feel like we're sinking? Who encourages us to call out to God?