From Sermon Entitled, “He Made Me Do It” — Smoke Rise Baptist Church, August 13, 2017
By Chris George
Matthew 14:22 reads, “Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go…” He made them do it. He sent them into the storm.
Let me share a real worry of mine. I worry that the church has grown content with comfort. We have found a safe place in the shallow calm waters…We run from away from storms instead of following God’s calling.
Ernest Campbell, the Pastor of Riverside Baptist Church in New York, was addressing a group of Pastors on the crisis in the church. He said to them, “The reason that we seem to lack faith in our time is that we are not doing anything that requires it.”
But some people are, like Rev. Robin Anderson…She is the Co-Pastor of Commonwealth Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. When she learned about the march in Charlottesville, she felt a calling to go.
People called the protest different things…Alt-Right, White Nationalism, Neo-Nazi, White Supremacists…But, regardless of what is called and how it is packaged…When you look at others as less…When you label others instead of loving…It is wrong. It is evil.
Robin went to Charlottesville to stand with those who were worried, to pray and remind people they have not been abandoned, to tell them that the church would not be silent in the face of this injustice.
And People, Good Christian People, Well-meaning people, were asking, “Robin, What were you doing? Didn’t you know it would be dangerous? Didn’t you know something might happen? Didn’t you feel anxious and afraid? Robin, Why were you there?”
And Robin, she just points at Jesus, the same one who called the disciples into the storm, Robin points at Jesus and says,
He made me do it.
Jesus sent me into the storm. I couldn’t sit safely on the sidelines. I couldn’t keep playing in the shallow water. I knew it was an awful storm coming—winds and waves—anger and hatred—powers and principalities and prejudices—bigotry and bitterness…
I knew it was there…I knew it was all there….
Jesus knew it was there. And, Jesus sent me anyway…
God sent me into the storm.
When was the last time you took a bold step of faith. When you left the comfort and security of the boat and headed into the troubled waters of this world to proclaim love and mercy and justice. Jesus sends us into the storm, because, God moves not only in the stillness of life, but also in the storms of life.
Chris George is the pastor of Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, Ga.