A common complaint of agnostics is this: “If only I saw a real miracle, I would truly believe. I would change my life.’’
Are they waiting for the parting of the seas? Or celestial fireworks spelling out their names?
Miracles happen around us every moment. Life itself is a miracle.
What makes many scientists awestruck are not the laws of the universe but how and why the laws have such seemingly calculated parameters. If the parameters were changed even slightly, the universe would have been bereft of almost all forms of life.
Dr Francis Crick, the biochemist Nobel prize winner who co-discovered the structure of the DNA molecule, once wrote: “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.’’
Sir Fred Hoyle, founder of the Cambridge Institute of Theoretical Astronomy and originator of the Steady State theory of the origin of the universe, commented: “The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way (by chance) is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the material therein.’’
Jesus, the Miracle Man himself, sometimes seemed unenthusiastic about lesser miracles.
“A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign,’’ he once told a bunch of miracle-seekers.
Jesus knew true miracles were signs of God. But he wanted to alert searchers of the real miracle of our lives—his presence on Earth.
The story of Jesus’ birth is marked by heavenly coincidences.
A Roman census moves Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem just in time to fulfil a 500-year-old biblical prophecy that the Messiah would be born there. Then simple shepherds find the birthplace after an encounter with angels.
Strange foreigners follow a star to the birthplace and supply precious gifts which can finance the family’s flight to Egypt to escape a death plot.
Then comes the adult Christ’s mission to save the world. C.S. Lewis called this “the one great miracle’’—the assertion that what is beyond all space and time, what is eternal, came into human nature.
How strange that we can now witness a supernova, but cannot easily envisage that the universe has been lovingly designed.