Daily Reflection
July 19th, 1999
Tamora Whitney
Exodus 14:5-18
Matthew 12:38-42

Everybody wants a sign.  Instead of accepting on faith, the Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign.  Jesus replies that there have been signs. Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and came out alive.  Just like Jesus will be in the belly of the earth for three days then come out alive.  The Bible is full of signs.  The first reading and the psalm response are both signs as well.  The Israelites are out of faith.  Theyíre afraid that Moses has led them out of captivity in Egypt to their deaths.  They think slavery would be preferable to death in the desert.  Moses tells them that they should have faith.  God sent them into the desert and God will take care of them there.  They werenít sent out to die.  But they want signs.  And they get signs.  God lets Moses part the waters of the Red Sea and lets the Israelites through while drowning their pursuers.  Thatís quite a sign.  There are lots of big signs in the Bible, and these are just the ones for todayís readings.

There have been lots of big signs throughout history as well.  I just got back from Ireland where I visited the shrine at Knock.  Itís a lovely and holy site where there was a manifestation of the virgin.  There is a beautiful chapel there with statues depicting the manifestation.  And the holy water there is said to have healing properties.  Thatís a wonderful and pretty big sign.  But we donít really get signs like that everyday.  The big signs, the get-in-the-Bible signs, are amazing and wonderful, and good proof of Godís involvement in our lives.  But there are lots of little signs as well.

First, we shouldnít need signs to have faith.  Jesus is angry at the Pharisees for demanding a sign.  The better person has faith without the sign and trusts in God without proofs and miracles.  But having said that, there are numerous signs around us all the time.  Maybe not signs that would get in the Bible or signs that would be depicted in statues at shrines, but wonderful signs nonetheless.

I heard locusts last night for the first time this year.  I know locusts at one time were a sign of Biblical proportions, but last night they were just a sign that fall will be here in about six weeks.  Thatís a pretty ordinary sign I guess, but an important one too.  It means to me that God is proving His involvement in our lives.  The seasons change, and the world continues.  The locusts droning in my yard are like a promise that fall will come in a few weeks.  In the newspaper now every few weeks there is a whole page of pictures of babies.  If a baby is not a promise for the future I donít know what is.  These are not big signs.  Theyíre not anything most people would even think twice about, but they are just two of the millions of miracles that go on around us everyday.  And they give us our sign that God is involved with our lives.

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