How many of you would like to participate in a miracle this morning?
What? Only a few of you?
Let me see your hands: how many of you would like to participate in a miracle this morning? (Hmmmm. It’s more difficult to count virtual hands than I’d anticipated!)
Good! Keep that in mind as you hear the Word of the Lord this morning, because this morning God is offering you a chance to participate in a miracle He is waiting to perform.
Signs or miracles are one of the ways that God reveals Himself and one of the ways that God evokes belief in Him. In this morning’s lesson, the sign and wonder performed was the healing of the nobleman’s son. This was truly a miracle, something we don’t see these very often today (and which I think have never been very common). I’m not talking about what are sometimes called miracles but about the instantaneous, public, visible healings and events beyond what is normally possible.
While we often think of miracles as being the epitome of testimony to faithful people, miracles are actually for the weak of faith. As Jesus says, “Unless you sees signs and wonders you will not believe” (verse 48).
However many believed when they saw Jesus’ miracle, many believed because of the testimony of the Samaritan woman at the well, and many more believed because of Jesus’ word (verse 41.) Jesus ultimately commends those who believe and have faith – without signs: “Blessed are those have not seen and yet who have believed” (20:29.)
Thank God that we have miraculous words in our lives today: they are the words of Holy Scripture! The fact that the words of mere men – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, and Paul – can truly become the Word of God is a miracle that we often miss. Equally miraculous is how you and I can read the Bible and have it be the Word of God in our lives by which He speaks to us. Perhaps most miraculous of all to me is how my meditations on God’s Word in Give Us This Day can bring the Word of God to you – in essence, communicating God Himself to you! And truly the effect of the Word of God on our lives is miraculous.
But have you noticed that the miracle of true, lively, zealous faith in the lives of people in the Bible always leads to a multiplication of the miracle? Faith begets faith, and those who are faithful are to produce more who are faithful.
The Samaritan woman went and told the Samaritans what she had seen and heard.
The nobleman father went and told his household all that he had seen and heard.
This early church went and told of their experiences with God, and we can do no less. It’s not the miracle of John 4 that we see and hear this morning: it’s John’s faithful telling of it. Every time the story of Jesus Christ in the life of the woman at the well or in the life of the nobleman is told, it multiplies faith, by our hearing it, reading it, and by it
being shared in the Church.
The sharing of a miracle 2000 years old can still strengthen our faith and make it grow. How much more when we share the things God has done in our lives. How much more when we share the miracle of faith that God has given each of us!
When you share your faith, it is a proof of your faith, it is a confirmation that your heart is filled with God to the point of overflowing. When you share your faith it nourishes your faith and that of others as well. This is such a true principle that even counterfeit Christianities such as Mormonism and Communism have benefited by having their people go out and share their faith passionately with others.
Your faith, your story of your life with God, must be shared, or else it will not e passed on. Parents who talk about God and go to church and pray with their kids and share their life in God with their kids end up with kids who have a life of God that they can then share with others.
You story, our story, need to be shared. And (believe it or not) people actually want to hear it. In this postmodern age people are keenly interested in hearing your story, which for you means the story of your life with God. They will want to know that before they will want to know why you believe and before they hear your reasons why they should believe.
Many people wonder if God still works today. They wonder, “If God still exists and still works, how will I know?”
The answer to that question has been among us all along. God has given you the miracle of faith, and He is asking you to share it with others, that they, too, may believe.
God has performed the miracle of salvation in your life. And now God is asking you to be part of a miracle in someone else’s life. He’s asking – no commanding you – to share your faith with others, and so partake again of His miracle of faith.
Do you know why there are 18 million Anglicans in Nigeria today, and fewer and fewer in the United States?
In Nigeria, they have a plan called “1 + 1 +3.” Here’s the plan: “1 person is to bring one person to Christ in 3 years.”
This is how God will grow Christianity in America again, and this is how God will grow Anglicanism in America again.
God has performed the miracle of faith in your life – in our lives. We must share that miracle with one another and with others.
For this is how we obey the will of the Master.
And this is our way of giving thanks for the miracle of faith.
Prayer: Father, I ask that, through Your Word and by Your Spirit, you may open doors for me to share the story of Your life in me with others, that I may proclaim the mystery of Christ and proclaim clearly. Let me make the most of every opportunity and make my conversations always full of grace, so that I may know how to answer everyone. I pray that whenever I open my mouth, words would be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, of which I am an ambassador. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. May I be prepared in and out of season to give an account of the hope that is in me. Amen.
Points for Meditation:
1. Think about the various ways God has worked in your life that you might share with others.
2. Start the habit of sharing what God has done in your life with someone every day (it’s easiest to do this with other Christians!)
Resolution: I resolve to share the story of my life with God this week (it could be with another Christian.)
© 2014 Fr. Charles Erlandson