The Smelly Miracle of Changing Determined Self-Interest into Determined Generosity
I love the miracle stories in the scriptures, especially the ones in the Gospels.
They lift up these ordinary objects like bread, fish, water, and wine, and make clear that in the presence of the Divine ordinary things become extraordinary. A small bit can feed a bunch with God's blessing.
But even more than that, Jesus' very presence actually changes things. It's like he has his own gravitational pull making the regular orbit of the systems of world fall out of orbit and into a new pattern of holy rotation. Perhaps that's the best definition for the phrase Kingdom of God: that place where God takes our systems and replaces them with God's systems.
This Sunday we have another wonderful miracle story. Take a moment to read it (even if it's pretty familiar):
So, did you notice the disciples in the story? Did you notice their state of mind? They're tired.
The fishing the night before hadn't worked, and then this guy shows up, gets in their boat (literally, steps in their shoes), and suggests that they should do it again, but differently.
That is probably the phrase that I find riles people up the most: "do it differently."
Humans are animals of habit. We don't like "different," even when it comes from Jesus.
I'm going to write that again because I think it's probably an honest phrase that all Christians need to internalize: we don't like "different," even when it comes from Jesus.