I don’t believe in miracles.
It’s not that I don’t believe that God could do all sorts of wondrous and spectacular feats that we think of when we think miracle. That’s not it at all.
But, you see something I learned early on was that when we put our faith in miracles, it often means that we’re going to be terribly disappointed, hurt, and well lost. And folks, let me tell you. I’ve been there, and I don’t want to go back. Because you know what, I’ve been that woman in the crowd—no, not the one who as in our story from Mark’s gospel who was cured of some disease or had some problem miraculously disappear. No, I’ve been that other woman, and if we honest, there’s a lot of folks, a lot more folks out there who have worn their knees bare in prayer, who have cried out for relief for self and as so many of us do countless times a day, cried out for a cure a miracle for someone else, someone loved, someone in pain, someone lost. And honestly, more often than not that miracle just doesn’t seem happen. So no, I don’t believe in, I don’t have faith in miracles.
What I do believe in is God.
Our faith is in God. This is the God who didn’t stay up in heaven waiting to see if we prayed hard enough, waiting to see if we were good enough, and did and said all the right things to then dispense a miracle here and there. No we believe in a God who stepped down, way down and into the realness of life—it’s pains, sadness, disappointments, joys, even its day to day, some might say un-remarkableness.
Now I’m not saying miracles don’t happen, and I agree with folks who point out that faith is what makes something a miracle. When there is a miracle, God’s in it. When there isn’t God’s there to. That’s what the bold belief is all about, it’s not about miraculous cures and amazing feats; bold belief is when it doesn’t go the way we want, and we turn to God, turn to one another still holding onto Jesus.
So, while we don’t put our faith and trust in miracles, we do believe in God. We certainly believe that the woman who was so desperately ill,
who had suffered so much and for so long. Those twelve long years. We certainly believe that she heard about the amazing thing and power of this Jesus, and she got up the courage to give it one more chance—that she would do whatever it took to even as an outcast, someone unclean and avoided for so long to charge boldly into that crowd, to press herself so close to Jesus, to fall down at his feet, to touch just the corner of his robe, and be healed. We believe that’s the kind of thing God does.
We also believe that that leader of the synagogue, that congregational leader was so desperate, so committed, so bold in his powerlessness and helplessness that he threw himself to the ground in front of Jesus and in front of his neighbors, in the presence of all to throw himself in the dirt to boldly beg for Jesus to turn aside from wherever he was headed, to interrupt his schedule and plans and to come and heal his daughter. We believe that Jesus could go into a room where death had taken hold, where grief, and pain filled the emptiness and raise a girl only 12 short years old. We believe that’s the kind of thing God does.
Today we are to live boldly in this faith in Jesus. It is faith that lets us be honest in our prayers, honest in our joys when they seem to go our way, honest in loss when they don’t—believing no matter what in the God of Christ Jesus our Lord who we can also reach out and touch on bended knee, who gives us the hope and promise of healing that is far deeper than a cure as we will, hold onto him in the bread and wine, the body broken, blood shed given for and to us, for the sake of the world—that’s what we believe is the the kind of thing God does.