Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 103; 150, 2 Kings 20:1-21, Acts 12:1-17, Luke 7:11-17
[H]e did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real;
he thought he was seeing a vision.
– Acts 12:9
Have you heard the one about the pious man trapped on his roof by a rising flood? The army, the navy and the marines all came by in boats and offered to rescue him, but he said he was waiting for the Lord to save him. Eventually the flood overwhelmed him. When he got to heaven, he asked God why his prayers went unanswered. God said “I sent you three different boats!”
Peter – Jesus named him “the rock” for a couple reasons – wasn’t much better. When an angel came to rescue him from prison, he thought it was a vision; luckily – having experienced visions before – he followed instructions anyway and was freed. When the prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah the Lord would spare him from death for 15 years so he could lead his people out of bondage, the King wouldn’t believe him without any less a sign than the sun moving backwards.
Sometimes the Lord’s ways aren’t all that mysterious, and for some reason that seems to be a stumbling block to faith. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ, but when those hands and feet aren’t pierced with nails or emitting a holy glow, we can struggle to recognize ourselves and others as the answers to prayer. How would it change your perspective on life to realize the answer to your prayer might not be divine intervention, but divinely-inspired human intervention? Or to realize that your action (or maybe just your presence) is the most miraculous thing someone could hope for? After all, the Spirit dwells in each and every one of us. Think on that for a moment…
We are wary of offers that sound too good to be true. A miracle around every corner sounds like one of those. Maybe the wonderful truth is miracles of hope, healing, reconciliation, generosity and comfort are as common as dirt … as long as we are willing to get our hands dirty.
Comfort: You are a miracle.
Challenge: Recognize the miracle in yourself and others.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the opportunity to be an answer to someone’s prayer. Amen.
Discussion: What is your general perspective on miracles?
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