Make Room for Miracles Part 5:
May 2, 2010
The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor
Montgomery United Methodist Church
Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens,
praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for he commanded and they were created.
He set them in place for ever and ever;
he gave a decree that will never pass away.
Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and maidens,
old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the LORD.
Today I would like to talk with you about what I believe is the most basic, the most fundamental miracle of all. I call this Miracle 101. Miracle 101 is the concept I turn to whenever I happen to get shaky in the faith department. If there is something in my soul that is getting nervous about faith or if I am challenged and am wondering about God, I go to Miracle 101. It is my solid foundation. It is the most basic of all miracles.
Imagine with me for a moment, that there is a square cube box. Now imagine that we can take everything out of the box. We take all life, and then we take every atom of air. Now stretch your imagination a bit more. We next take out time, so that within the box there is no such thing as time. Then we take out dimensionality, we take out the dimension of space. We have removed everything from the box. Time, space and all material things are gone. There is nothing there. In my mind, there is no explanation needed for this timeless, space-less, empty box. There is nothing there. It needs no explanation.
But now, imagine this: we open the box, and find it is not empty at all. It contains, well, space. It exists in - time. It has air in it.
As soon as you put anything into the box:
• even time or even space,
• even air, and (glory hallelujah!)
• even life-sustaining air, then it needs an explanation. A very big explanation.
Simply put, Miracle 101 is that there is something instead of nothing. And if there is something, something demands an explanation. And if there is a creation, there must be a Creator. The corollaries: if there is something, there must be an explanation for that something. This is the idea that I always return to.
If there is a creation -it needs a Creator. And suddenly we have Miracle 101. If you could imagine that box opening up and flowers there, beautiful flowers, with leaves that have veins and design, and blossoms of rich yellow and red and blue, and purple. Can you see them? If you could imagine the flowers growing in the box, my friends, in my mind, that needs an explanation. Something had to design those flowers. Something had to create those flowers and sustain their life. Something had to give them energy to grow. Someone had to design each one. Someone had to breathe life into them. They didn't happen by some random accident. I can't buy that explanation - it's too remote for me. That Creator, that sustainer, that Designer, that Initiator, that Original Planner and Provider - is God. For me, this is Miracle 101.
Take a look at this wristwatch. Did it have a creator? Yes? Did you ever meet him? No? How do you know he exists? Well, you see the watch he created. Created? What if I were to postulate that this watch happened because a hundred billion explosions happened in a junk yard over a hundred billion years, and out came this watch, and landed in a box in the store where I bought it? Not so likely, you say? More likely that some intelligent person designed it, and directed the team that produced its construction. That's a lot more likely explanation for this watch, you say. Know what? I agree with you.
And now, look around the room and you see people, wonderful, beautiful, strong, gifted, intelligent people. Wow-what a miracle! Living, breathing, seeing, feeling, hearing, moving, caring, sensitive people. A random accident? I think not. Any less complex than the tick-tock watch on my wrist? How infinitely more complex. What shall we say about the Creator of people?
We must never, even for an instant, take the creation of life for granted. There isn't a moment to waste. In the core of every moment is the awesome wonder of creation, and the signature of the Creator. To behold this awesome wonder is to contemplate Miracle 101.
To be truly in touch with God is to behold the miracle that there is something: time, space, air, light, ideas, energy, form, design, all around us. And in every nanosecond, there is this outrageous, generous miracle, which is Life. That is Miracle 101. Everything springs from the magnificent, benevolent, loving creativity of God. All around us, every moment, waiting for us to be observant - and grateful.
There are miracles all around us in the physical world. Everything we touch, everything we see can be an inspiration to us, that God lives, and that God has created what we see. Where do we find it in the Bible? We find it in the very first words, of the very first book. In the beginning, God. It is the announcement of the great miracle, the awesome miracle.
We also find it in Psalm 148. Let us take a look at what is going on in Psalm 148. I submit to you, that the writer of Psalm 148 was a person who was suddenly gripped by the idea of Miracle 101. That everything in all of Creation proclaims God, and points to God. Snowflakes and fire, kings and everyday people, the young and the mature, men and women – people of all kinds - all are testimony to the creativity of God. Please re-read Psalm 148 and consider the ecstatic wonder of the writer, who proclaims the power and presence of our Creator God in all around him.
The one who realizes Miracle 101, walks in the footsteps of God.
I admire scientists. They look into the "eye of God", as it were. They seek to name, describe, and predict the patterns God has already set up in the universe, and they do so with the utmost diligence. I especially admire scientists - and there are many - who accept the theory of Intelligent Design.
There is a funny story about a group of scientists who didn’t accept the doctrine of Intelligent Design. They got together and decided that they would put God out of business. So they sent a representative to God.
The representative said,
“You know, God. We don’t need you anymore; we know how to create life. We found a formula, so we don’t need you.”
God replied, “Okay, why don’t we go ahead and try a little contest.”
The scientist agreed.
God said, “Why don’t we do it the original way, I will take some clay and form a person and make him live.”
The scientist said, “No problem, we can replicate that.”
down, scoops up a handful of mud starts to form a person.
The scientist bends down, goes to scoop up a handful of mud and God says,
“Oh no, you go create your own mud.”
(Laughter from the congregation).
All that is around us, all that is created, is of the Hand of God. There are miracles that we can see, touch and observe, ordinary miracles that are all around in every day and in every moment.
There are visible realms, and there are invisible realms. For example, how does your cell phone work? How do we talk through the cell phones? Well, there are invisible radio waves that go through the air, that you can’t see but they are really there. Hmm… we don't have any trouble accepting that theory, do we? Magnetism is another invisible realm. How do you explain how two magnets repel each other? Well, there are invisible radio waves that go through the air… The invisible realm speaks to the existence of the Creator.
The spiritual realm also speaks to the existence of the Creator. The realm of thought, the realm of prayer, the realm of God, the realm of Heaven, is just as real and testifies to the creativity of God. All realms are part of Miracle 101.
There is a beautiful poem whose words we find in our hymnal. It goes something like this.
This is my Father’s world.
And to my listening ears, all nature sings.
And round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world. I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas.
His Hands, the wonders, wrought.
My friends, make room for miracles in your life. It all begins by recognizing that all of life, every moment, every sight, and every experience - is an extraordinarily wonderful thing, a priceless gift from the hand of God. The one who makes room for Miracle 101, this most basic miracle of all, is truly blessed. May you walk in the wonder of its light. If you do, you will truly be walking in the footsteps of God.
God loves you; I do too. Have a wonderful week. Amen.
© 2010 Anthony J. Godlefski
Following the sermon, Barbara Ewick sang:
lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, music by Marvin Hamlisch
Change can come on tiptoe, love is where it starts
It resides, often hides, deep within our hearts
And just as pebbles make a mountain,
Raindrops make a sea,
One day at a time, change begins with you and me.
Ordinary miracles happen all around
Just by giving and receiving,
Comes belonging and believing.
Every sun that rises never rose before.
Each new day leads the way through a different door
And we can all be quiet heroes, living quiet days
Walking through the world, changing it in quiet ways.
Ordinary miracles like candles in the dark
Each and every one of us lights a spark.
And the walls can tumble
And the mountains can move
The winds and the tide can turn
Yes, ordinary miracles, one for every star
No lightning bolt or clap of thunder,
Only joy and quiet wonder
Endless possibilities - right before our eyes -
See the way a miracle multiplies.
Hope can spring eternally, plant it and it grows.
Love is all that's necessary,
Love - in it's extraordinary way
Makes ordinary miracles
Every blessed day;
Every blessed day.
© Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Marvin Hamlisch