Faith, Devils, and Thunderstorms

Faith, Devils, and Thunderstorms

Text:  Mark 9:2-9

           At the risk of revealing the narcissistic part of me, I must say I really like this sermon!  Each week I attempt to write a sermon that speaks to me and hopefully to others, but some speak more than others.  On this Transfiguration Sunday we’ll be looking at how we, as somewhat scientifically trained people, address Bible stories of the miraculous and how we strike a balance between thinking about the natural versus the supernatural.

Believe it or not, Christians from Bible times to the 17th century would not have the slightest idea what we were talking about if we used the words “natural” and “supernatural.”  For them, God caused all good things to happen in life and the devil caused all bad things to happen.  Most of the great cathedrals of Europe were built in the 1200s and each large bell in their belfries bears the inscription in Latin, “For the scaring of devils.”  They believed that thunderstorms were caused by devils and they had proof of that.  When a storm front entered their area they would start ringing those bells, and sure enough, eventually the devils would be scared away.  That reminds me of the psychiatrist who asked his patient why he continually snapped his fingers.  “To scare away the polar bears,” replied the guy.  “There isn’t a polar bear within 2,000 miles of here,” said the doctor.  “See,” said the man, “it works!”

Join with us this Sunday as we explore the Transfiguration and its implications for us.

—Paul