Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Got Signs?

Would life be better with signs from God?

Arguably, one doesn’t witness signs from God, today, in the way that people did in the scriptures. Prophets aren’t telling nations to repent, God’s not smiting the wicked, and people still pray. Did God leave the world to its own devices? Have people stopped being sinners? Are prayers going unanswered? Would life be better with signs from God? The scriptures have prophets, there is lots of smiting in the Cannon, the word of the Lord came to God’s chosen in the Bible. Nations feared the Lord in biblical narratives.

Perhaps, one can argue that God was more active in people’s lives, during biblical times. Did having more signs from God make biblical figures holy people? Evidence is to the contrary. People spoke to God, people were chosen by God, and they were still sinners. King David was the leader of God’s people and he had some illicit behaviors (2 Sm.11; 2 Sm. 12). David, the king, was still a sinful man.

Life without signs from God hasn’t made the world more or less corrupt. With or without signs, Original Sin has always tainted humanity. The Early Church had signs and they kept asking for more (Jn. 6). Why do people continue to pray for signs and miracles; when that’s never been what brought humans closer to God? The more miracles and signs Jesus did, the closer he got to being crucified (Jn. 6:35-7:1). Pray for healing, pray for forgiveness, pray for help, pray for wisdom, pray with thanksgiving, pray in mourning, pray for faith, pray for hope, pray in lament, pray with joy, and pray for endurance. Prayers can still be answered (and are answered) without Jesus having to walk on water.

This world was broken and sinful when miraculous signs occurred with the same frequency of television episodes. Signs don’t make life better in the long run; they make life better, until one needs another sign. The Lord hears our prayers and faith is God’s gift to the world. Generations come and go, signs last like seasons, but people remain sinners. God has not left the world to fend for itself; rather, God has graciously answered the prayers of a world full of sinners – whether spoken or unspoken – with the hope of the resurrection. Life and the world have never been better because of signs from God. Instead of signs, it is God’s love and grace for all that has redeemed and will continue to redeem the effects of Original Sin. The only sign one needs from God was given to all through the event of the cross.   


  1. I have thought about this very topic on numerous occasions and agree with you Tim. Signs have never really inspired God's people to do what he has required.

  2. Well said, Mary. Though, I know not everyone will agree with us. I've heard compelling arguments that go both ways today. But, I'm with you on this one, Mary.