Tuesday, May 25, 2004

the feeding of the 5,000
the modern man has left the building

And so he should. And if he hasn't, he needs to.

Twice now in the past six or seven years I've listened to gray haired men preach on the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes. It sounds good. See, Jesus prayed over the small lunch of this selfless child (who had a very conscientious mother or dad) and the crowd, seeing the goodness of the boy, decided they'd pull out the bread and fish they had secretly spirited away in the recesses of their robes and share with their neighbor.

Now THAT is even more of a miracle! they both said. Jesus performed a miracle of the heart.

Thanks, but no thanks. I want miracles of the heart and miracles. Plain, garden-variety, suspension of natural laws miracles.

For years the modern man sought the need to define everything in terms he could understand. He sought to suck God into the vortex of his own rationalization (and boy, can we humans rationalize), throw Him into the spin cycle of skepticism, rinse Him in the right verbiage, and viola! Explainable God!! Understandable Jesus.

There's only one problem with that. People don't want their God to be bound by man's rules and expectations. They didn't then. They don't now. In seeking to explain away Christ's miracles and the mystery and awesomeness of God Himself, they lost their audience. And some of these Elvises are still hanging onto their lackluster beliefs. I mean, I'm supposed to give up my life, take up my cross for Someone that inept? Get with the program, guys. It was screwy theology and people didn't want it then, and they don't want it now.

I want miracles. I want twelve baskets leftover. Jars of wine. Hearing returned, sight restored. I want Legion gone. I want death on the cross--time in the tomb--and a resurrection. I don't want explainable, demystifying castration of a miracle working Son of God. I want Him in all His glory.

And I don't believe I'm alone. I believe this is what people are crying out for now. They know there's a God. But do they know, after these Elvises have been yakking away for at least half a century now, that He can actually make something great of them? That He can take the five loaves and two fish of their lives, break them, and have twelve baskets left over. That He can make their Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill into a bottle of Amarone?

So gentlemen, with all due respect, I'll skip your dessert. And one question, why the heck have you given up your lives to proclaim that? I just don't understand.




Blogger Deborah said...


I loved this post. Especially the paragraph about the explainable God.

I too want to see the miraculous and I'd like to see us fiction writers who are Christian find ways to capture it in our work.


May 25, 2004 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

I've never heard anyone give a message like that about miracles, but you can bet I wouldn't swallow it. I'd march right up to the speaker and say "You're limiting God, stuffing Him into a box. I've got news for you: it doesn't work! Now sit down and read your Bible with an open mind and heart!"

Okay, so I'm not that tough. That's what I want to say to shake 'em up. :)

May 26, 2004 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger siouxsiepoet said...

so i'm not the only one it seems lying awake nights contemplating a BIG GOD. i've got a poem coming on that one soon. see grandios on my new personal blog siouxsiepoetuncensored.blogspot.com (how self promoting is that! it has to do with this topic though give me that at least!)

May 26, 2004 at 12:29 PM  

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