Eternal God, we are too easily overcome by the seas that surge around us. They are dark and deep and mysterious, suddenly raging and overwhelming us; we cannot protect ourselves. But, in Christ, our storms are calmed, our Red Seas parted, our dangerous waters stilled. You tread upon all that frightened us. Let us hear again your words, “It’s all right; I am here! Do not be afraid!”—words echoing not only in our quivering, faithless hearts, but throughout the world. Amen.


Matthew 14:1-12

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead!  That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him:  “It is not lawful for you to have her.”  Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered him a prophet.

On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.  Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”  The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison.  His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother.  John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it.  Then they went and told Jesus.



Why do we doubt you, Lord Jesus? Why do we have so little faith? We can only cry with Peter, “Save us, Lord!” We can only draw near, like the sick, begging you to let us touch even the fringe of your robe. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.


We cannot hear this story without remembering how mighty you are. We cannot hear this story without recalling your deeds of power, your swift mercy, your gentle rebukes calling us higher. Because you are such a God, because you are such a Savior, we turn to you now and beseech your help throughout the world.

We intercede, Lord God, for those we know who are threatened by the storms of life…
(Name your requests before God, concluding with:)
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We intercede, Lord God, for those we know who have stepped out in faith but now find themselves sinking and crying out to you…
(Name your requests before God, concluding with:)
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


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