This morning’s collect begins, Almighty and everlasting God, who is always more ready to listen than we are to pray, and is always willing to give us more than we desire or deserve.
Jesus spends a lot of time performing physical healings on people. It is clear, especially in the Gospel of St. Mark, that his ability to heal and to cast out demons was the main way he attracted people. They would come to him because they had heard of His miracles and to some extent wanted to see a show, a spectacle, and maybe even a stoning. Regardless, the crowds would come for the show, and that would make them more receptive to His preaching and teaching.
Miracles, teaching and prophesies reinforce each another. Prophesies tell us what’s going to happen. Miracles attract people who then hear the teaching which explains the miracles, which in turn makes them more receptive to the possibility of miracles.
The church follows the same outline Jesus did. The Church offers preaching and teaching, and miracles come through the sacraments and in God’s answers to our prayers. Sadly, we see the major sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion performed so often that we forget that they are, in fact, miracles. It is extraordinary that someone dies and rises again when he is baptized – and that bread and wine become the body of and blood of Christ. To hear the rest of this sermon, please click here.