Lately I've been studying the gospel of John.
He has a lot to say about the signs Jesus gave that He is Who He said He is.
Miracles, we'd call them.
Years ago, I heard a preacher talk about a college professor who doubted the miracles recorded in the Bible were true.
His reasoning? Those things can't really happen.
To which the preacher replied, "Duh. That's why it's a miracle."
Yet, this week I am struck by Augustine's commentary on Jesus's signs and wonders. He wrote,
"For certainly the government of the whole world is a greater miracle than the satisfying of five thousand men with five loaves; and yet no man wonders at the former, but the latter men wonder at, not because it is greater, but because it is rare. For who even now feeds the whole world, but He Who creates the cornfield from a few grains?"
While I marvel at the feeding of 5000, I should also marvel at the bread.
Isn't it true?
Consider the lowly kernal.
Can you conjure one from the air? Fill it with nourishment? Explain how bread becomes...well, bread?
I am powerless in the face of the ordinary.
I'm amazed by bread.
And isn't that the point of counting gifts--
that I would train my eye to see the miracle in the mundane and give thanks?
Ultimately, though, gift-counting by itself may miss the point.
Jesus had crowds of followers who missed the point:
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal....I am the Bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:26-27, 35)
It's one thing to be amazed by bread.
It's another to let my amazement at the bread mean I'm amazed by the Bread.
It's about Jesus, or it's all for nothing.
Lord, open my eyes to see Jesus in the bread, in the ordinary, in the mundane.
Then I'll be amazed by You.