Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Remarkable Things Today

Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today." (Luke 5:26 NIV)

Jesus performed many miracles throughout his three-year ministry.  They got people's attention.  Crowds would seek him out because of all the things he could do.  One group of people believed in his abilities so much that they brought a paralyzed friend to Jesus with hopes that he may be healed.  The crowd was so large that they couldn't get their friend to him, so they helped their friend "drop in."  They lowered him through the roof of the building where Jesus was preaching.  He was lowered in the midst of the crowd right down in front of Jesus.

What did he do?  Jesus healed the man.  He healing he offered at first, though, was not physical.  He healed the man's spiritual problems - the sin that separated him from God.  Then, to prove he had the power to forgive sin, Jesus healed the man physically.  The crowd was amazed.  They called it "remarkable," the things they had seen.  They gave praise to God.

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 NIV)

All too often we want to see "remarkable things" from God as well.  We wish that we could see the kinds of miracles today that Jesus performed back then.  We want to be amazed...they we will give praise to God.

The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon. It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. (Psalms 74:16-17 NIV)

Maybe we should be amazed more than we are.  I watched part of a sunrise this morning.  I was amazed.  The sun is hurling through space at a rate of about 486,000 miles an hour.  Not to be lost, the earth rotates around this moving target at a rate of 67,000 miles an hour.  But neither of these events produced the "sunrise" today.  No, the earth also spins around like a top at the brisk rate of about 1,000 miles an hour - completing one spin in 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.09053 seconds: the sidereal period.  

That produced this morning's sunrise - but not the temperatures associated with this season of winter.  Winter is produced by the fact that the earth is "tilted" at an angle of approximately 23.4 degrees.  The angle stays the same throughout the year while the earth circles the sun.  So, during part of the year the sun is closer to the "top" of the earth and during another part of the year the sun is closer to the "bottom" of the earth.  The angle of rotation produces "seasons" of warm and cold for the earth.

All of these things were necessary for me to enjoy one sunrise during the winter season in Northwest Indiana.  How much will it take for me to be amazed at "remarkable things?"  Seems like that sunrise was pretty remarkable.  I'm going to go praise God now...