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The miracle of faith

October 13, 2008

by Rev. Erick Thompson, Bethel Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie

When was the last time you saw a miracle?

Would you consider the arrival of fall a miracle? The answer is probably not. The changing of the seasons is an event that we have come to expect. There might be a little surprise to hear of a light frost in Embarrass, MN in the middle of August, but we wouldn’t consider that to be a miracle.

Even though we understand the inevitability of God’s creation, we don’t always understand how God could be part of something more surprising, like a miracle. Fall is coming, we know that, but what else could God be doing in our lives today?

There is much more to God than the seasons. We have life, family, friends, the promise that Our Savior will come again, and so many more things. Yet, we don’t always understand how God is part of all this, and so much more.

And that is the center or our problem: we don’t understand. As humans, when we don’t understand something, it can be scary. With God, we may never understand, because it is only through faith that God can come anywhere close to being “understood.”

Faith and understanding are two different things. We have faith that God will grant us eternal life. We may not understand just how that will work, but we have faith that it will.

As we think about God, the difference between faith and understanding can be a helpful distinction. So often in our society, we want to know how things work. We feel that it is necessary that things make sense. We want to make sure what we’re doing is “reasonable.” Our need for things to fit into what we find to be reasonable can keep our faith stuck.

One of the important challenges we face as a church is having faith that God is at work. If we approach our church with a reasonable outlook on things, we may be in trouble. Instead, God calls us to live outside of the comfort we find from things that make sense.

As faithful people, we are called to see a God who can move mountains, who can cure the sick, who can give sight to the blind, and who can bring people back from the dead. Our God doesn’t fit into what makes sense, but actually makes no sense at all sometimes. It is only through the eyes of faith that we can see God at work.

As easily as we have come to expect the change of the seasons, our faith helps us to see God’s presence in our lives and in the church. Can we let go of our need for a reasonable explanation long enough to see the miracles God is creating for us?