This month, our three denominational periodicals – the MB Herald, MB Chinese Herald and Le Lien – have partnered together to bring you an issue on miracles. We’ve collected articles by French, Chinese, and English-speaking authors to bring you a wide variety of perspectives on the subject.
So, why did we choose this topic? Because miracles have the ability to fascinate and intrigue our culture like nothing else! From movies such as Miracle at St. Anna, to newspaper headlines announcing “miraculous survivals,” to books such as Harry Houdini’s Miracle Mongers and Their Methods: A Complete Exposé, we know that people are talking about miracles. Missionaries often share stories about miraculous events taking place on the mission field, and church care groups regularly pray for the miraculous healing of members.
So, what do we mean when we say, “It’s a miracle?” Are we referring to God’s rare and supernatural intervention, or are we just talking about something beautiful regardless of its likelihood, such as a baby’s birth? Is it a miracle every time someone beats the odds and survives cancer? What role does faith play in the miraculous? And what does the Bible have to say about miracles?
Although our confession of faith doesn’t directly address this issue, it says that “through the Holy Spirit, God gives gifts to each member for the well-being of the whole body. These gifts are to be exercised in God’s service to build up the church and to minister in the world.”
We believe there’s an ultimate purpose behind every gift, including miracles. We also affirm that, even though God doesn’t miraculously intervene in every situation, miracles do happen.
We three editors believe this issue will spark some theological conversation, but we also hope it will ignite our imagination and faith. Perhaps it’s time to put our modern cynicism aside and leave room for the possibility of miracles in our day. Believing in miracles is one way to regain hope for a bleak world – a world currently entrenched in a controversial war; reeling over the financial ruin of several major U.S. banks; dealing with the AIDS pandemic; and facing devastating natural disasters.
When we believe in miracles, we focus on the one who can make miracles happen – on the one who can transform the planet. We reaffirm his sovereignty and power over a world that often feels out of control.
MB pastor and teacher, Waldo Hiebert, put it this way: “I had a debate partner [in seminary] who didn’t believe in the miracles of Jesus, so I began to doubt. But E. Stanley Jones made a simple statement: ‘Make up your mind who Jesus is and miracles are no longer a question.’ That settled that for me.”
May we all pray for a miracle today.