I admit I was a hopeful skeptic. Reading social media posts leading up to New Year’s Day, one couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming belief…hope…plea…prayer…that the advent of 2021 would miraculously usher in an experience of life far more pleasant than that of 2020. After all, it couldn’t get worse, right? Well, here we are, two weeks into the new year and it is arguably worse. Per capita, Tarrant County COVID indicators across the board are now the worst in Texas, and the political scene has deteriorated such that our collective focus must be on the preservation of democracy. Seriously 2021, we were expecting a break! As the widely circulated meme says, “I’ve had my 7 day free trial of 2021; is cancelling still an option?” Just when we planned on a better immediate future, it seems to be unraveling even further. But before we go too far down the road of woe and self-pity, we should acknowledge that, in truth, plans have been unraveling since humans first began planning.

In Matthew 14, the disciples had a plan to share a meal between them of five loaves and two fish. That plan quickly unraveled when Jesus decided to feed a great multitude.

Then the disciples followed Jesus’ plan to get on a boat and travel across to Gennesaret — the land of the gentiles — while he remained to pray. On their way they came upon a storm. That doesn’t sound so fearful to us today, but for the disciples it was quite different. You see, storms at sea brought great fear into their hearts. There were stories of the sea, the place they called “the abyss.” It was a place of chaos and hell, where beasts would battle and cause these great storms.

Into the mix of all of this fear and fables, they see a figure walking in the midst of the storm on the water. Their fear intensifies. And then Jesus calls to them — “It is I, do not be afraid.” Peter, the eldest disciple, the one whose role it was to set the example for the rest, cries back, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

Think of that. Peter, who only moments before was terrified of the deep now trusts enough in Jesus’ mere presence that he cries out to do what Jesus does. You see, that’s because that’s what disciples do. They follow in the footsteps of their rabbi. If their rabbi is hungry, they eat. If their rabbi wishes to feed thousands, they share their food. If their rabbi walks on water, well, so do they.

Peter planned to follow his rabbi, Jesus, wherever that might lead. He followed Jesus right out of the boat, into the abyss that he so greatly feared. He walked on the water because Jesus called him to do so.

However, even Peter’s plans unraveled. He sank into the water. Now, too often we have blamed Peter. We’ve chastised him for having doubts. But it wasn’t a man of doubt that began to sink, it was just a person. A regular person, a human with frailties, like all of us.

I believe when Jesus tells Peter that he has little faith, it wasn’t a scolding, but a reminder. When you doubt, when your plans unravel, Jesus stands right next to you ready to pull you up. Our unraveled plans may be disappointing, demoralizing and downright depressing, but they are also an opportunity to see God at work in our humanity. Fix you gaze so you don't miss it! I look forward to exploring our worship theme “UNRAVELED” with you this Sunday.

Blessed to be your pastor,
Pastor Lara
aka “The Vicar”
Apple Corps meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning for casual fellowship. Class begins at 9:45.
The Zoom Meeting ID is 293-856-379 or click the link below to go directly to Zoom.
Branches meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning. The Zoom Meeting ID is 213-928-173 or click the link below.

Genesis meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning. The Zoom Meeting ID is 937 5166 7725 or click the link below.
"I CONNECT" meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 963-430-720 or click the link below.

Journey meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 429-051-096 or click the link below.
New Beginnings meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 387-197-129 or click the link below .
The Way meets via Zoom at NOON every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 450-965-323 or click the link below for Zoom.
New Series: Painting the Stars
Sunday School for preschool and elementary school meets via Zoom at 9:45. To maintain a secure site for our children, please email Ms. Robin for login information before Sunday.

Prayer Concerns & Sympathy
Please continue to check the Facebook Prayer Page for daily updates or concerns. To be redirected to the Martin UMC Care Team Prayer Ministry page, click here:

Christian love and sympathy is extended to Ted McIlvain, his cousin, Kathryn, and family on the death of Kathryn's husband Jimmy.

Martin Community: Jay Bradford, Rosemary Dawes, Barb Herbison, Emily Herbison, John Longyear, Melissa Norton, Marcie Smith, Jim Shepherd, Catherine Yoro

Family & Friends: Diane Burnett, Ryan Campanaro, Ronny Carter, Debra Crona, Jill Davis, Dennis DuBose, Bonnie Fuller, Carolyn Guice, Gloria Jackson, Diane Kunce, Abby Pierce, Deb Viney

Prayer Requests Specifically Regarding COVID-19: Jan Batjer & friend Bill, Stan & Carol Crosser, Doris Fash, George & Beth Hawkinson, John & Vickie Kelley, Ken & Carole Ruck, Richard Vega, Robert & Carmen White

Names remain for two weeks
unless otherwise requested.

Please remember to notify Deanna for any changes to the prayer list.