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"Ghost on the Waves, God in the Boat" - 10th Sunday after Pentecost - August 9, 2020




They were just thrilled, these disciples of Jesus. Smiling, laughing, slapping each other’s backs – overwhelmed by what just happened. Over five thousand people were fed, not to mention all the sick people cured. Theses disciples were part of something transformative, an experience in which the divine was palpable. God was close.

Jesus? Well…Jesus was tired. He was tired before all the feeding and all the healing, now he’s especially tired. He might even be tired of his present company, all these exuberant disciples. All these disciples that keep retelling the story of what just happened and keep asking Jesus questions and Jesus is just…too…tired. He is fully human (not just fully God) after all, and we’ve all been there in some way, shape, or form.

I grew up Baptist and in college and my early twenties I served in student ministry positions within the Baptist church. Every summer we’d take the students to youth camp. If you grew up Baptist or something similar – yall know what I’m talking about when I say camp. Load ‘em up in the church van, spend the rest of the week sleeping on a bunk bed constructed in 1945, going to all the games, events, and revival meetings. You know the type, where the preacher goes for an hour followed by an hour long altar call where they get born again and it doesn’t matter that they were born again last summer – they’re going to get born again this summer too. Then here comes Josh, 16-year-old, has his first pick up, started dating – so he thinks he has a lot to feel guilty about it and he wants to confess. Then, here comes Johnny – he’s about to go to college – and he feels called to become a missionary and next to him is his girlfriend Susie who coincidentally enough feels called to be the wife of a missionary. And you spend the whole week talking to all the youth, listening to them, and helping them navigate the tumultuous world of summer camp romances. Then you load ‘em back on the church van, you’re tired, and all you want to do is put on your headphones and tune them out. But here comes Charlie, there’s always a Charlie, freckle-faced, 8th grade – you had to spend the whole week telling him cheap cologne is not a suitable replacement for showering, and Charlie is going to sit in the passenger seat and for the whole three hour ride home he’s going to talk to you about how he thinks he might be called to be a preacher someday. And I will admit, there were many-a-time I changed the subject or turned up the radio….I just couldn’t listen to Charlie.