On Miracles: Part 5, A Hermeneutics of Gratitude

I don't know about you, but I'm a bit of a theological snob.

Well, I used to be. I'm much less of a snob than I once was. I used to roll my eyes at any theological notion I deemed stupid, simplistic or problematic.

Penal substitutionary atonement? Eye roll.

Original sin? Eye roll.

I'd do this for song lyrics as well.

"Some glad morning when this life is o'er, I'll fly away." Eye roll.

And boy, how I used roll my eyes at miracle stories.

Especially what I deemed to be trivial miracles stories. Stories of finding lost keys or a good parking space so that a meeting wasn't missed. I used to eye roll miracle stories that sounded a whole lot like lucky conscience or simply a good turn of fortune. Sometimes we get good test results back from the doctor. It happens. Even to godless atheists.

So I'd roll my eyes at miracle stories.

But as I've shared life among my more enchanted, charismatic friends I've been rolling my eyes a whole lot less.


Well, first, it's rude and elitist.

Second, rude and elitist behaviors and attitudes are spiritually corrosive. Snobbish judgments of others? Not good for the soul.

But the main reason I've stopped rolling my eyes is that I've found something in miracle stories that I consider to be vital to a vibrant spiritual walk.

What have I found in miracles stories?

Gratitude. Doxological gratitude.

Do you know what I hear now when I hear a friend praise God for the miraculous discovery of lost car keys or a nick of time parking spot? I don't hear what I used to hear: problematic metaphysics. What I heard in the story of found keys is praise and thanksgiving. Gratitude and doxology.

This is what I think, I think miracles are a hermeneutics of gratitude, reading the events of life with a readiness to give thanks and praise.

And so when I hear a miracle story I don't roll my eyes, I rejoice with those who rejoice, I join in the thanksgiving and the praise.

I know there is so much more that you and I can discuss about miracles. And I've left us here with more questions than answers. But at the end of that day, in my life at church, when I hear the miracle story of lost keys that have been found, all I hear is gratitude and praise.

For me, that's enough. I'll join and say, "Praise the Lord!"

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