Spiritual Director · August 31, 2015

No magic, just Jesus!

I have always wanted to be a magician! I received a magic game set when I was in my teens and used to do some magic for my brothers and friends. I never developed any tricks of my own, they always came in the box! I’m sure if you are like me, you watch magic tricks or shows enjoying the performance with this nagging need to know how it gets done! I love the “behind the scenes” stuff and magic is fascinating! I have seen TV programs were the most popular magic acts are featured and then they show you how it is done. Many professional magicians not happy about that! Behind the scenes….how do these magic acts get done?

I know there are many trap doors, tricks, and gimmicks on some of the acts. Others are done with a slight of hand or others cause you to focus attention on one hand while the other slips in to a pocket or something. Now, the live bunny coming out of the hat I’m not sure about. I was at a restaurant recently where they had a magician going from table to table. It was interesting and I’vet learned in my old age to enjoy the tricks and not worry with how they are done.

Over the weekend I came across a show on TV hosted by Penn and Teller, very famous magicians. They have invited amateur magicians to come on a show and perform magic for them. If the person can “fool” Penn and Teller they win a spot to be the opening act for the Vegas show. It’s just incredible the magic that can be done while you are watching….flames light, cards get torn up with something written on them, only to reappear elsewhere, items disappear and reappear. Yesterday a magician had someone pick a page out of a phone book. The magician then tore up the phone book, threw all the pages in the air, and with his sword picked out the correct page! It was pretty neat to watch. Have you, like me, been in situations where you would like to disappear? Would magic have been helpful somewhere along the way?

Some think that Jesus rising from the dead was magic. If it was magic that raised Jesus from the dead, there is no way we would have the church we have today or the millions and millions of believers who follow the ways of Christ. It was not magic that raised Jesus from the dead…it was God! There were no trap doors, no secrets, no games being played here. It was real, it happened, and there is nothing secretive in the behind the scenes action. There was a song years ago that had a line I remember “Arise, my love, arise my love, the grave no longer has a hold on you..” The tomb is opened, Jesus is alive, and the “magic” is that we get to believe, we get to share this with others and we get to live it out in our lives. The tomb wasn’t opened so Jesus could get out, the tomb was opened so we could go in. Look around, “He is not here, He has risen!”, see the grave clothes on the floor? (Matthew 28:6) It’s not just at Easter, it is for today! Buried in problems, financial issues, family or marital magic needed?? Listen to God: Arise, my love, arise my love, the grave (of troubles/problems) no longer has a hold of you. Rise up to this new day, new week, new month and live anew. No magic, just Jesus! No tricks, but God’s unconditional love for you and me.

Pr. Doug

Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend….I hope you get some time to rest and enjoy the magic around you…..


Doug Givan

Staff Chaplain

St. Vincent Clay (Brazil)

St. Vincent Seton Specialty (Indianapolis)


dgivan@stvincent.org (email)


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Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.