Your Miracle Moments
October 1, 2006
The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor
Montgomery United Methodist Church
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, good morning! I had a most unusual thing happen to me a few weeks ago. In my home, early in the morning, the light of the dawning sun shines through the windows of the dining room in the kitchen. It’s quite beautiful. The dawning sun crests over – I guess it’s Bunker Hill. I call it Sunrise Mountain. The light streams into the house. It’s a beautiful sight to see. I have a little glass prism that hangs in one of the windows, and on certain mornings when the angle of the sun is just so, a sunbeam will hit the prism and be deflected through it. Little rainbows will appear all over the living room, sparkling and shimmering with morning light.
Well, this one morning I’d gotten up early. I had lots of things to do that day. I was preparing my breakfast. I’d made some bread the night before with the help of my little bread machine. I took the bread out and put it on the counter and sliced the bread to make toast. And as I sliced the bread and held the slice in my hand, something very unusual happened. I looked at the counter and the board on which I was slicing the bread, and I saw something that startled me. It was a glow, a circle of colorful light. It was like the projection of a stained glass window. I asked myself, “What is this?” I looked at it, and there were the colors of the rainbow in a lacy pattern in almost a circle. It was amazing.
And then I looked at the slice of bread that I happened to be holding at that very moment, and on one side of it I could see the light of the sun that had been filtered through the prism touching the inside of the slice of bread, projecting through it, and throwing the image of that wonderful little sunshine stained glass window on the counter. It was breathtaking. I was amazed.
I must confess to you, I was also in a hurry. I was tempted to say, “Oh, that’s nice,” and go on with my breakfast, and then attend to the phone calls and the letters and the preparations and the forms to fill out and the return phone call to the district superintendent and all the things that I needed to do. But another voice within me prevailed. It said, “Don’t you dare. Just stop and look and notice. Take in this moment. Be totally impractical. Just linger, and think about God.”
And so, I am happy to tell you that I did. I just looked. And I knew, too, that in a moment it would be gone, because the sun really does move so fast through the day. I looked at that beautiful little light through the bread, and I said, “Lord, what do you want to tell me? What’s going on here?”
Friend, I think what the Lord wanted to tell me was to talk to you, to talk to you about Him. When Moses was in the wilderness, he had a similar experience. He was watching the flock. He was doing his job. He was doing the everyday thing. And then there was a light, coming from a bush. Now Moses could have looked at it and said, “Yes, it’s the refraction of sunlight against a metallic rock that is filtering through the branches of this bush and causing this luminous display. Very nice. Very pretty.” But he didn’t.
He took it as a sign from the Lord that the Lord was trying to tell him something. The Bible tells us that he was amazed. It was as though he could hear the voice of God saying his name. “Moses. Moses.” And what did Moses do? He answered. He said, “Okay, Lord. Here I am. What do you want to tell me?”
Friend, this day I’d like to share a few ideas about this passage. First of all, I would invite you to be on the lookout for your miracle moments, for those extraordinary times that have got to be more than a coincidence. Let me ask you – do things happen in your life that must be more than a coincidence? “God has to be involved in this situation. How could this have happened without a supernatural blessing of God?” Have you had moments like that? Maybe they are moments when God is simply trying to get your attention and say “Think about me, please. I’m lonely for you.”
The first thing I’d like to ask you to do for me today is to listen for the angel voice. Don’t shove it away; don’t rush into your day too terribly fast. Listen for your miracle moments, for those moments when you are struck by the presence of God, when something – complex or very simple – is saying to you, “God is near. God is here. He wants to talk to you.” Won’t you be open to that? Can you and I agree today that we’re going to be open to those miracle moments when God is going to touch our lives in extraordinary ways and bring us some kind of message of love?
That’s the first thing I want to talk about from the light through the bread. Be open to your miracle moments. God is going to want to tell you of His encouragement. God is going to want to say, “Come away from those downer thoughts about yourself, and know that you are my child. I love you, and I have plans for you. The moments of your life are precious and irreplaceable. Come up, child of mine.” He’s going to want to tell you that, and He’s going to use extraordinary means to do that, simply inviting us to be open to the miracle moments.
Another thought that came as I looked at the light through the bread was, “Isn’t this like Holy Communion? Isn’t this what Holy Communion is all about? Light through the bread?” When we celebrate this sacrament, when we gather around this table, isn’t it because God wants to talk to us? Because God wants to send us a message? Because God wants to send his justifying and sanctifying grace into our hearts and love us into a relationship with Him? Isn’t that what communion is about?
Friend, as you come forward to receive the sacrament today, I invite you to enjoy the light through the bread. Jesus said, just before He went to the cross, “You know, I’ve been so anxious to share this meal with you, because I love you so much.” He took some bread, and He thanked God for it, and He broke it, and He said, “Here, this is my body.” In other words, when you do this, I’m with you. The bread means Jesus is with you. The bread means Jesus is here. Let that light shine on you as you receive the bread this morning. Let His presence envelop you and love you and encourage you. You’ll be letting His spiritual light shine through the bread of Holy Communion.
Oh, and when you take the cup, remember that Jesus said, “Here, like my blood, that sins may be forgiven.” So if the bread means that Jesus is with us, take the cup and think, “This means that I am forgiven, forgiven in a big way, forgiven enough to go to heaven, forgiven enough to start afresh. No matter what mistakes I’ve made, Jesus is on my side. He wants to give me another chance.”
The cup means ‘forgiven’. The bread means ‘His presence’. If you do this, if you let His light shine in your heart through the sacrament, you will be letting the light shine through the bread and through the cup.
Dear friend, as you go into the week, this is my prayer for you: that you would look for your miracle moments when God is speaking to you to encourage you and lift you up, and that as you take the sacrament today you would find great joy in it—in His presence, in His forgiveness, and in His encouragement. He wants to do that for you today. Will you receive it? I pray you will. Because God loves you. I do, too. Have a blessed week. Amen.
© 2006 Anthony J. Godlefski