Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Psalm 97Jeremiah 17:19-27Romans 7:13-25John 6:16-27

The story of Jesus walking on water (John 6:18-21) provokes many responses. Thomas Jefferson left the story out of his Bible entirely. One scientist posits (do an Internet search for “Jesus walked on water”) that Jesus might really have been walking on a sheet of ice that could have formed in a cove on that cold morning. Some see the story as a parable_not factually true, but showing Jesus as the fully realized spiritual self, untouched by the material realm. Fundamentalists believe that Jesus really performed the supernatural act of walking on the surface of the lake, proving that Jesus had command over all things on heaven and earth.

Certainly, if Jesus had actually defied physical laws, that would be news. But it would not be the Good News of the Gospel. Jesus came to us as Messiah, not as Magician. It seems unlikely that the authors of the Gospels were presenting eyewitness accounts of all that Jesus and the disciples said and did. The Gospels are efforts to illustrate the spiritual experience and understanding of the writers through stories with Jesus as the main figure. The authors sought words to describe the indescribable. As Bishop Spong describes the Gospels, “Above all it was language that could not be literalized being employed to process an experience that could not be denied.”

Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Einstein believed in “miracles,” but he did not intend “miracle” to mean “supernatural.” In this 21st Century it is tempting to explain away_to deny_the Biblical miracle stories. It is so much more uplifting to read them to understand how the Apostles experienced the miracle of Jesus.

Lloyd Snook

No comments:

Post a Comment