We're about to embark on a series of study at church looking at Acts. I am seriously looking forward to this as it doesn't only include the Sunday talks but also follow up study in our 'satellite' groups ('home groups' in old money...). So we started this week with an intro from our Curate, who is always inspiring. One of the starting points was, why do no we not see mircales, signs and wonders happening today?
So, why don't we see miracles as common place? Anything remotely amazing tends to get written off as coincidence or chance, a 'fake' or a fraud. One of the things he didn't talk about is that things that were miracles/signs or wonders 2000 years ago would not actually be seen as a miraculous today. Science has moved on a such a rate that we can explain earth tremors or lights in the sky. Healing can be done with modern medicine, we can travel very quickly from place to place and so on. We expect so much now. What would a modern sign or wonder constitute? I mean I'm not sure I can think of an example that could happen, that couldn't be explained away by modern science or technology.
And we are taught to question everything. I teach my children to question things, not to just accept what they hear. But is that a good thing? I want them to be able to form their own, well-informed opinions. They can google every singular 'fact' that is brought to their attention (and usually find them disounted by the theory of A N Other too.). We can look up 'revivals' or miraculous happenings and form our own opinions on their validity. We don't just accept it.
When the stuff of the bible was happening, the disciples could share the miraculous things that they had seen Jesus do and be believed, but now? What would people say if we went about saying I have seen a man healed with my own eyes? I saw a man with a withered leg grow back? I suspect the majority would think I was either nuts, lying or decieved.
Some would say that signs/wonders/miracles are not relevant today, that they were used as a tool of evangelising thousands of years ago, that we don't need them now. That we weren't intended to use Gods power in that way, that it was just for the original crowd that were called and sent out. I don't believe that. I believe that we have the ability to use Gods power in that way, that He still desires to heal, to help and to change impossible situations, but I am not sure that it is a particularly productive way of evangelising in todays society, well, not in the way they did alll those years ago.
Have we lost our ability to trust? our ability to believe? As Christians we have faith in God and that's a pretty big ask isn't it? so why do we have trouble believing in the miraculous?
What do we have to do to see Gods power come in this way? It is as simple as just believing it can happen? I would like to think so...