The other day, while walking home from church, my son asked me if I ever wonder whether or not the things in the Bible actually happened.
He said, “...like the story of the bush that was on fire and didn’t burn. That just can’t happen.”
I told him that yes, there are some things in the Bible that are hard to explain and hard to understand AND which seem impossible to us. But the Bible is not just a story of what is possible for us, but there are also parts that tell us about things that are only possible for God to do.
He wasn’t all that satisfied with this response...so I tried again.
I told him that I can’t really understand everything that happened in the Bible, but what I know is true and I know is real is that these stories were important to the people who came before us. They told these stories to teach each other about God, and this means that we continue to teach them and hear them, and they should still be important for us today.
This, for some reason, made him feel much better. He could understand the real people who told these miraculous stories even when the miracles themselves were too hard to understand.
Often when we teach the stories of the miraculous works of Jesus Christ from the gospels, both teachers and students get caught up in the plausibility or the probability of each one. We try to figure out how you fillet a fish into that many parts rather than trying to find the meaning behind a story of abundance.
Confirmation is the perfect time to really wrestle with the miraculous moments in scripture - especially those done at the hands (and feet) of Jesus. When students have been taught the stories of Jesus’ miracles as younger children, they have had time to integrate the details into their understanding of who Jesus was. In Confirmation they can then wrestle with their faith in Jesus as a miracle worker and the question of what they can do when the miracles seem too hard to believe.