Archive for April 25th, 2008

I Need a Miracle

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Luke 4:38-44 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Keith Phillips):

Back in the good old days, as one approached a venue where the Grateful Dead would be playing, one invariably would see any number of young men and women holding up signs, reading: “I need a miracle.” Now, believe it or not, these fine young people were not lepers or paralytics or demon-possessed, as were some of the folks in the Bible who needed miracles from Jesus. These miracle seekers outside the Dead concert were looking for a free ticket to a show that usually was sold out.

I think they understood what miracles are, though. Too often, we think of miracles as some kind of magic to show divine power, or something that God might do for us if we’re really good. But really a miracle is nothing more than a break in the cause-effect function in western linear logic. We’ve become so accustomed to believing that “things happen for a reason,” that, I believe, we misunderstand the grace of miracles.

All of us have had something good, wonderful, even awesome happen in our lives that just can’t be explained. You didn’t deserve it; you didn’t earn it; there was no reason for it to happen to you; maybe it shouldn’t have happened to you, but you’re glad it did. Miracles happen for no reason other than that we are unconditionally loved by a God who, thanks be to God, doesn’t function according to the rules of linear logic.

God wants us to enjoy life. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus does miracles to eliminate some of the common threats to the lives of those who encountered Him: disease and evil. He demonstrates that He is the key to life and wholeness. It’s interesting, but not surprising, that the folks of Capernaum wanted this miracle worker to stay in their town. Jesus makes it clear, though, that the Good News of God’s love and the abundant life is to be spread outward, to the whole world.

Oh yes, my “miracle” happened just before 8:00 pm, on April 5, 1971, outside the Manhattan Center at the corner of 34th Street and 8th Avenue in New York. And there have been plenty more, day by day, since then, too.

Thought for the day: What miracle will happen in your life today simply because God loves you?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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