Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ice Whine

My faith has been shaken to the core [that is sarcasm, thank you very much] with the latest scientific theory that Jesus didn't walk on the water of the Sea of Galilee, but rather on ice formed from "salty springs along its western shore that produce plumes of dense water, thermally isolating areas that could freeze even if the entire lake did not."

Just so I'm sure I understand... science wants us to believe that walking - apparently without difficulty - on floating chunks of slippery ice, is somehow less miraculous than mere walking on water.

And apparently the ever-dimwitted disciples didn't clue in, "Oh, man, we thought you were walking on water. Little optical illusion thing going on there, but we get it now."

There is a general misconception about what miracles are, among the world and the faithful too. We have been so edumacated that there are scientific laws that govern the way things function, that we have lost sight of the omnipresent hand of God.

For instance: we are taught that the force of gravity is what causes objects of mass to attract objects of lesser mass, which in the case of the wet-footed Jesus, would naturally cause him to sink to the seabed. Then our Sunday School teachers tell us that when Jesus walked on the water, he was suspending the laws of nature to demonstrate his power.

That sounds about right, eh?


G.K. Chesterton opened my eyes in Orthodoxy when he opined:

The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.

What this means is that God takes such delight in his creation that he literally sustains it moment by moment. As such, every thing that science tells us will inevitably re-happen only re-happens because God directly causes it to, for the sheer pleasure of the art of creation.

So when Jesus walked on water or ice or sand or grass or thin air, each moment itself was miraculous. Same with when I walk on the face of the earth and do not spontaneously shoot off into space, or am not suddenly swallowed up into the abyss.

Once you think about God being exactly that active in his creation, it becomes quite difficult to doubt his love for us, for man is the crown jewel in his universe; we are his favorite. If he spends so much time making daisies, would he not long even more for us to know him? "Are not you of much more value than they?"


  1. I found this quite interesting. I tend to believe that God created all the laws of physics and such that govern the universe, and that to me keeps me in awe of His power. To think scientists have been studying the natural world since it began, and we have still only scratched the surface of what there is to know. Our greatest minds have not come close to understanding the earth and the laws that govern it, so how great was the mind that created it all.

    Just my two cents, I love the blog.
    My Blog

  2. The really weird thing is that it's often the same people who believe in such findings of the um, intelligent, that are also willing to believe they see the face of Jesus in a grill cheese sandwich or the "face of Art Carney in a butt roast."

  3. I hadn't really thought of it that way before. But I find it funny to think that all our "science" could be based on God REALLY liking something and doing it again and again. After all, God created everything perfectly, so why wouldn't He be infatuated with it? And I can definitely relate to the child-like infatuation of wanting to do something I really like over and over again. I think maybe it's our lack of perfection that makes us strive for change and improvement, and at other times maybe it's pride and greed.. At any rate, it's good news for those of us who like our "routines"

    "Let the little children come to me" :)


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