Monday, 28 December 2015


This is the season for miracles – virgin births, flying reindeer, God on earth, fat men coming down chimneys, angels, talking animals, John Lewis' Christmas ad and Michael Bublé’s Christmas special.

Miracles or thaumaturgy as they call it, thaumaturgy meaning ‘miracle’ or ‘marvel’; the capability of a magician or a saint to work magic or miracles. Now I’ve been living in the age of miracles all my life, and I’m not talking Saint’s bones or rusty nails. Miracles have been made commonplace, it's just that we don't recognise them as such and the people that make them happen probably won't be made saints; that seems to be reserved for the religious fraternity.

Yes, the age of miracles is surely upon us. What was once seen as supernatural is now completely natural. The lame man is made to walk again with robotic prosthetics, the deaf are made to hear, people are raised from the dead daily and the blind are made to see again.

Not only that, but men have walked on the moon, ordinary people fly from one side of the planet to the other as if it is nothing, bananas and strawberries are available all year round, we can talk to each other even when we aren’t together, lots of people live to very old ages – a hundred isn’t that unusual any more - and cities can be raised to the ground without the use of a single trumpet.

Miracles indeed; it’s almost like all those biblical miracles we were fed for centuries were pretty ordinary when compared to what mankind has become able to achieve, things once held in reserve for the Saints, great magicians and God. I’m sure that we could part the red sea if we wanted to and to be honest, with everlasting life in some form a real possibility and given that we can overcome most things these days, I don’t think there’s much of a need for saints any more. Sorry saints, particularly those on the waiting list, but technology and knowledge have replaced you.

Of course, there are still many more miracles which need to be performed. We need to be able to control this strange weather we have helped create, feed every mouth on the planet, find new planets for the overspill, sort out this world’s climate quickly, find cures for any number of diseases, live together in harmony, the list goes on and on. But given how far we’ve come in a very short time, just a couple of hundred years in the main,  I’m sure that most, if not all, of it can be done.

No, we don't need those old miracles any more and we certainly don't need any more saints. There are well over 10,000 and Pope Francis made 813 new ones on just one Sunday in 2013. Well I hope we don't anyway, I really do, because the alternative is to trust in God and his track record isn't very good.

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