“The Lord came to Abram in a vision saying: ‘Do not be afraid Abram I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.'”  Genesis 15:1

“He said: ‘Come’ and when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on water to Jesus.”  Matthew 14:29

“..and Greeks seek after after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified….and to the Greeks foolishness”  1 Corinthians 1:22,23

A leap, or in this case leaps of faith.  A man is established with family and large flocks where he is living.  But God comes to him and tells him to pick up all he has and travel to a far off place.  God goes on to tell this person that he will be the father of many nations although his wife has yet to bear him any children.  A man is sitting in the safety of his boat.  He is a fisherman well aware of the dangers of deep water.  He sees what he thinks might be a vision, a spirit walking on the water, although Jesus tells him that He is real.  The man asks Jesus, if you are real then bid me to come to You and Jesus answers: “Come”.  The man gets out of the boat and actually walks on water.

Leaps of faith.  It seems to me that in the world today we tend to look at the concept of leaps of faith as some aspect of dare-devil, brave propositions or acts that are filled with extreme peril either to our station in life or, worse yet, maybe even our very lives as well.  We tend to think it takes much inner strength on our part, to accept that risk and take the leap, only having faith as our guide.  At least that is how the wisdom of the world seems to look at it and if we’re not careful we buy into that as well.

Yet perhaps, we have it all backwards.  Yes Abram (who God renamed Abraham) had faith.  Yes, Peter, to step out of that boat, had faith.  But think for a moment who they had faith in!  They had faith in God, God as the Father in Abram’s case and God in Jesus Christ in Peter’s case.  If we stop and think about it for a moment, just how risky truly was it to take their steps based on bidding of God?

Do we think that once God had called Abram, once Jesus Christ had called to Peter, that either of Them were just going to say to the ones they called: Okay, you’re now on your own.  How much more safe were they to be following the Will of God, then to have turned their backs and stayed where they were?!  Perhaps (and truly there is no question) the riskiest action is to say no to God and go our own way, in our own wisdom.

Abram did step out and go where God led.  Peter did get out of the boat.  And please, please Sisters and Brothers understand this from scripture, they did not do so perfectly, they both stumbled.  As Abraham traveled through Egypt with his beautiful wife Sarah, his faith in God was not complete in terms of keeping the two of them safe.  Abraham feared that the Pharoah would kill him to be able to take his beautiful wife from him.  So Abraham told Pharoah that Sarah was his sister and in fact Pharoah then wanted Sarah for one of his brides.  God did not punish Abraham for that lack of faith.  God’s plan was to always have Sarah give a child to Abraham so he struck Pharoah and Egypt with plagues so that he would not touch Sarah.  Likewise with Peter, he did get out of the boat and focusing on Jesus, he walked on water.  But he became distracted by the waves and the wind, took his concentration of Jesus and started to sink.  Now Jesus could have made an example of Peter for the rest of the disciples.  Jesus could have said: Look at this man as he drowns seeing what happens when you lose your faith in me!  But Jesus didn’t.  Scripture tells us the minute Peter started to sink, Jesus was right there to save him.  So again, where truly was the risk?

Dear Sisters and Brothers, the world has a path.  The world has a wisdom.  That path and wisdom has a lot to do with believing in yourself, doing for yourself, exalting yourself and each other.  Letting your perfect Son die for the wrongs of others, having Him become humble and humiliated by those much less than He is sheer folly and stupidity to the world.  That kind of plan would never work.  That kind of plan is the epitome of risk.  That is what Satan would have us believe.

The truth is the risk, the horrible leap of doom is not to take steps in faith with Jesus Christ toward God; but like the rich man who approached Jesus, whom Jesus loved but the man turned away, to turn away and leap to our own destruction in the world is the most horrible risk.  How do we know that steps to take? How do we know that we’re walking in faith?  It seems to me the two most necessary steps are in reading the word and in prayer.  God is our Father.  And as our Father, Perfect Father, He will never leave us alone.  As our Father, All Powerful Father, He will never let us, as we strive to follow Him, walk into the path of destruction.  As our Father, Most Merciful Father, He will be there and pick us up when we stumble along the way.  Leap of faith; risky?  I don’t think so.  Stepping in faith, leaping in faith is in fact, the safest leap we will ever take.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, the world and prince of this world strives to have us follow our own earthly ways.  We humbly admit that  we at times cower in fear at the thought of following the path You have laid out for us.  Forgive us Dear Father and pour out Your Spirit upon us that we would seek You first and then step forth in faith upon hearing Your answer.  Bless us on the journey testifying to us that our steps in You are the right, just and perfect steps to take.  Be with us when we stumble guiding our feet back to the path.  That in that walk of faith, our lives would be lives of Praise to Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen