The opening verses of today’s reading is one of those passages that gives Biblical scholars fits. The idea of simply touching articles of clothing that had touched the Apostle Paul being something that brought people miraculous healing is a bit…objectionable. Some might even say it is just plain weird.
I mean really, how different is that than asking someone to touch a TV set in faith as they ask God to heal them? Remember, these are articles of clothing that just touched Paul, not Jesus. How different is this than praying to saints?
Verse 13 makes it clear that Paul was proclaiming Jesus, and we can infer from that the he was equally clear that it was Jesus and not him who was doing the healing. Still, it’s a rather…unorthodox…method, to say the least.
For me, I have to conclude that God is just plain bigger than we are. He works as He will, not as we think He should or even wish He would. He doesn’t fit in our little boxes, no matter how theologically correct they might be. Anyone who reads the Bible seriously is going to have a hard time concluding that the work of God in this fallen world is always a neat and tidy thing.
So…in what ways do we try and restrict God? How might that limit his working in our lives, or cause us to miss what He is doing in the world today?
And what would it be like if denominations, rather than criticizing each other or pretending they are the only ones that get it right, saw that God was bigger than their boxes? What kind of witness might that be in itself to the world around us?
And finally…at the risk of sounding, uh, weird…is God doing anything supernatural in your life and in mine? Is He doing anything that goes beyond what we consider rational, what is humanely possible?
If not, might that in itself tell us something?