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Monday, July 27, 2015

Miracles in The Modern World...or not

We had a discussion in our Adult Sunday School class yesterday regarding miracles. The gospel lesson prompted the discussion as two miracles occur within the reading. The first was the feeding of the 5000 and the second was the walking on water. As a brief recap, the feeding of the multitudes (or the 5000, whichever you prefer) started with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. And the 5000 were only the menfolk. There were womenfolk and kids as well, so probably closer to 10,000. And everyone ate and was satisfied. Then later the disciples are rowing like mad against the rough seas and the wind, when Jesus appears to them on the water and tells them not to be afraid. So in the readings I did regarding these two events you can find both the encouragers for these events or the discouragers. The discouragers tell you that the feeding thing happened because everyone sat down and shared what they had of food with everyone else. So of course, no one went hungry because everyone shared. They will also tell you that in the Greek translation of the text the part of speech used for the word "on" could be translated as beside, rather than on. So Jesus could have been beside the water, on the beach when the disciples saw him, which I find hard to believe would have terrified them (as the text states they were), but what do I know. The encouragers would have you believe that Jesus caused bread and fish to exist out of thin air, providing enough sustenance for all in attendance. And the walking on water thing? Yeah, why not? He was God, ya know. The problem with these people are they sound really naive. I mean c'mon! Food out of air? Defying gravity or whatever makes you sink under the water?

I'd like to believe I'm a little in both camps. I never, in all my 60 years believed that Jesus did NOT walk on the water until I read that explanation about the Greek translation. But the sharing of the food, yeah, I heard that one and it made sense to me. I have a foot in both camps. Which is why it's called faith. I believe, but I'm rational. I don't need to see Jesus walking on the water, though, to know that if he wanted to, he could. Faith is what you make of it. It's following your heart into some pretty strange territory and saying, "yeah, but" when things seem to point to the irrational. And it doesn't mean you never question or doubt. Faith doesn't mean you don't look for rational explanations, it just means that if there doesn't appear to be one, well, that's kind of okay, too.

So look for miracles, I say. And if you don't see one right away, that's okay, sometimes it takes a little digging, or even opening your eyes or heart. And who's to say that miracles aren't happening every day all around you?