Miracles, Heaven and Earth
One of the problematic questions that challenge the church intermittently surrounds the question of miraculous healing, particularly why it is that some people apparently experience the wonder of healing experiences and others do not. The argument that suggests that people who don’t experience healing lack sufficient faith is at the least unhelpful and at the worst harmful. Many people have given up on the church because of unfeeling comments by those who claim a Christian faith. Other arguments include a Christian version of the Insha'Allah of Islam. Sadly we are left with an image of God who chooses capriciously who to heal and who to leave.
I have just finished reading “Simply Jesus” by N T Wright, a book that doesn’t focus on healing miracles specifically. My understanding of the book is that the author is suggesting that this thorny issue be set within the wider context of the rescue of the whole of creation.
With the fall, Heaven and Earth it is argued gradually experienced separation; at least from Man’s perspective, until movement between the two parts of God’s creation become increasingly rare and for humankind impossible. There is nothing we can do as humans to fix the problem – in fact the harder we try the worse it gets, Only God can fix the problem.
In Jesus, there is a new covenant. Heaven and Earth are fused in Jesus, who is the living embodiment of creation as it is meant to be. Those whom he touches experience this, the creation itself is changed by Jesus in his interaction. Examples of which include when Jesus walks on water (Matt 14:22-33).
Jesus’ death and resurrection creates a beachhead in the world. The accuser has already been bound in the wilderness already, and it is through us that the beachhead makes progress although just like in any battle, we should be prepared to meet stiff resistance from outlying elements of the enemy until the work is completed.
So how does this shed light on Miracles and Healing. Perhaps, these episodes occur when Heaven and Earth meet and God’s true creation shines through. Sometimes these can be spontaneous cracks. It leaves me wondering, are we then praying for the wrong thing. Is the prayer we should be praying hidden inside the very prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven”. We pray for the fusion of Heaven and Earth on a weekly basis, but do we really mean it? Do we know what we are asking for?
Healing therefore is the result of God’s rule becoming apparent on Earth as it is in Heaven. Lack of healing has nothing to do with God being choosy or the sick person lacking faith. How many of us have enough faith anyway? No, miracles happen when Heaven and Earth meet, when there are crossing points.
Perhaps then it would be more appropriate instead of praying for physical healing to pray “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven”.