Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Miracles and Death

Today's first reading with the drowning of the egyptians can be difficult for Christians to reconcile to our notion of God.

First of all, like many stories in the OT we know that it is told as it was perceived not with scientific accuracy. The chance that Pharaoh and ALL his army would have gone after a band of run-away slaves, died, and left no record outside the bible is slim. Of course, to the Israelites it seemed like the whole army.

Regardless of the numbers, it is their death that bothers us. We forget however that from God's perspective death in itself is not a bad thing. There are ways to die that are bad: abortion, homicide, suicide, torture, etc. but passing from this life is inevitable. Every person Jesus cured eventually died. Lazarus whom Jesus raised eventually died. Every human being must eventually pass from this life to their eternal destination. That is in fact the goal.

We should also remember that what makes a miracle a miracle is not that the laws of nature/physics are broken or suspended by that in the event people experience the presence of God. They get a glimpse of hand of God at work in their lives.

When the exodus story tells us that the people of Israel sang and danced, it is not intending to convey the idea that they were dancing over the corpses of their enemies. They sang and danced because they finally got it. After all their whining and complaining to Moses, they finally got at least some understanding of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Today if you look I think you will be surprised my the number of little miracles in your life, those little reminders of God's presence and love.