Living in Sheffield, the song "I believe in miracles" by Hot Chocolate has a certain interpretation by which many of the male population suddenly find a desire to disrobe, usually fuelled by plenty of alcohol. I've not seen the film in question, but gather that this is due to "The Full Monty" which is set in Sheffield and seems to affect the university students there!
However, the fact is, I do believe in Miracles. My Faith tells me that I must, from the testimony of eye-witnesses, believe in the potential for my scientific understanding of the Universe to be challenged by the One Who Is beyond Creation.
I believe with my whole heart that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again in order to reconcile a fallen Humanity to God.
In some sense, I have just laid myself bare in that I have revealed the simple truth about my belief. Yet it is more than that. I believe that miracles can and still happen. I have prayed for a miracle many times now, and I always seem to get one, though never the one I was expecting. Indeed, these days I believe that my expectations will always be challenged as much as my science. God is the God of surprises, and it is actually very liberating.
I look round and I see Church numbers declining, heresies and abominations entering the Church, perversions of sacraments, and I am tempted to see the death of the Church. But that's not what I pray for.
I have prayed for the health of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which I am a member and seek to serve, participating in the Priesthood of Christ. I believe that my prayers are going to be answered, not because of my holiness because I am not as holy as I should be, but solely through the Grace of God Himself. He hears my prayers because He is good, and I believe that.
People call me naive and idealistic, but are we not told to approach the Kingdom of God as a little child? So I dare to believe, and fully expect the Church to grow, to pass through this time of turbulence into yet another time of turbulence greater and holier than before. I do not believe that the Church is dying. This is a time of test and purification. If we hold fast to Christ and allow Him to purify us as individuals as well as a believing community, then we will see even greater things than these.
In being naked before God, we leave behind even our rationality and find only one of the Three That Remain - Hope! Let us pray and believe that our prayer will be answered - because it will! God has been so good to me and my lovely little family!
I do have hope for the Church-to-come even when I see Liberal Theology destroying people's faith. I will recognise the Church of the Future, but the miracle will not be what I am expecting - it will be even better than that and that's the naked truth!