This Sunday’s sermon at Holston View UMC in Weber City, Va., will be “Demons and Deafness.” It will be based on Mark 7:24-37. If you want to view the sermon but cannot be present, the entire worship service will be available through Holston View UMC’s web page.
Today’s preparatory text: Luke 18:27
[Jesus] replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.”
By Chuck Griffin
Why might we seek a miracle?
We do pray for miracles, particularly when lives seem to be in jeopardy. As we move toward Sunday, however, we need to consider the purpose of miracles.
If we seek miracles strictly to bypass suffering or impending grief, we likely are missing their larger point. Certainly, when we are praying over an immediate, very personal crisis, our minds might not be processing broad theological concepts. But that is simply an argument for thinking about such matters in calmer moments, so we can better understand what it is we are seeking when times of crisis come.
An important fact to remember: As far as we know, every person Jesus healed from illness, brought out of a tomb or raised from a deathbed or funeral bier died later. If we look at these miracles simply as stories of what these people escaped, then Jesus’ work had temporary effects.
Miracles do so much more, however. First, they are evidence of God’s presence in a world where we otherwise see things as if “in a mirror, dimly,” to quote Paul. (1 Corinthians 13:12.) For just a moment, divine possibilities shine through, and the presence of the dawning Kingdom of God is easily, if briefly, seen.
Miracles were signs of God’s presence in Jesus. Miracles are signs of God’s presence in the church, by way of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
We also should understand that miracles come with responsibilities, both for their recipients and their witnesses. Someone needs to testify as to what has happened!
Belief also should naturally spread in the wake of miracles. It is a response we see throughout the Bible. God is seen, and therefore, people change their lives dramatically as they begin to believe.
Lord, we are not afraid to pray for miracles, and we pledge to testify to what we have seen as we receive them. May lives be changed! Amen.