Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Healing Ministry

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

Mt 4:23-24 (NRSV) (emphasis added)
I've come pretty close to giving myself writer's block trying to write something about this, the third Living Mystery. Everything I come up with seems stale:
  • Folk don't much believe in miracles anymore
  • Well, some do, some don't.
  • How 'bout them miracles of modern medicine, which some would say are ways God works through humans?
  • Blah blah blah.
Bottom line: either you believe in miracles, or you don't. If you don't, the stories of Jesus' healing miracles are myth or propoganda. If you do believe in miracles, then you have no question about Jesus' healing ministry.

I would suppose that those who believe in miracles have experienced one in their lives, or within their immediate circle. That is to say, some kind of healing has taken place for which there is no medical or scientific explanation.

We're not talking about the face of Mary in a potato chip here. We're talking about the withered hand restored, or a non-surgical cure for epilepsy. A person who is inclined not to believe in miracles may have some way to discount such an event; but I suppose it to be feasible that some event might happen that would cause one to question his/her reliance on scientific logic to explain the world.

"Do you believe in miracles?" I'm open to them. "Have you experienced a miracle?" Days like this, I suppose my continued existence to be a miracle. I've made a lot of mis-steps in my life, yet here I am, doing better than I was even five years ago. I've gone under the surgeon's knife more times than I care to recall, and I've lived to tell the tale.

It wasn't a flash of light. It wasn't some male authority figure slapping my forehead with an open palm. If I want to call it a miracle, it doesn't hurt you. If you want to call it luck, or chance, or self-determination, I won't argue the point.

I suppose I'm just one of those people who are inclined to believe in miracles.

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