The Miraculous Sermon I Have to Preach All the Time

Do you ever find yourself reading the Bible with something less than enthusiastic belief when it comes to stories about talking donkeys, floating axe heads, and rising corpses? Welcome to the club. We don’t see that kind of stuff every day, or any day for that matter, so it can feel unreasonable even when we want to believe.

Whey doesn’t God just throw us a few talkative burning bushes, or days where the sun stops mid sky and sits there for twenty-four hours? That would surely make the miraculous nature of Scripture a little more palatable for contemporary readers, wouldn’t it? The answer is yes, by the way.

So, here’s the sermon I have to preach to my cynical and skeptical soul on the regular. First, this world is a miracle. Full stop. Even the greatest of secular minds will admit as much. That’s a pretty big miracle that confronts us every day, the Cosmos that is. Let it sink in. There’s a reason the sunrise and the nigh sky captivate your attention and demand a sense of awe. You’re walking in a miracle every day.

Second, the human experience is a miracle. If we’re just matter in motion, or bio-chemical reactors, then why are our most pressing concerns and our most prized values not material? Above all else, we value friendship, love, beauty, and justice, none of which have material dimensions or weight or measurements. They are immaterial. The human experience defies scientific categories. You are a miracle. You’re living a miracle every day.

When I keep these simple points in mind, I find that I have a better perspective on reading the miraculous.

I might add a third point that draws upon a C.S. Lewis metaphor. If we are living in a story, it would seem the author of our story, as the author of any story, can insert plot changes at any point they so desire. There are plenty of books I read where some early event sets the stage for all that follows. Often, it’s an event that’s not in any way repeated. Just because we don’t see a burning bush on our morning stroll doesn’t mean it didn’t once happen and that it doesn’t still carry significance for us today.