I would like to make a proposal. I propose that we, as Christians, should take back the adjective word “magic”.
This idea has been bouncing around my head for quite some time now. I write lessons for children’s church, and it’s one of the words that I usually have to avoid more often than not. When I have to, I substitute the words “supernatural”, or “miraculous”. There’s nothing wrong with these words. These words are perfectly fine, and appropriately biblical. They’re very beautiful words.
But I want to be able to use “magical” as well. With no twinge of guilt and second guessing myself at the mere mention, the slightest indication, of the occult and other eeeeevil things.
Because of course we don’t want to confuse the children. “Magic” has long been associated with devilry, and sorcery, and witchcraft, and all sorts of nefarious black arts. Magical practitioners are at the very least, tricksters who aim to deceive and distract. At the very worst, their spellbinding acts are attributed to forces that are the opposite of good, far removed from God and His righteousness.
(I almost defined my way out of my own point myself, but give me a minute.) I still want to take it back.
Magic as an adjective directly means “supernatural”. Powerful beyond definition, beyond human understanding. And isn’t that what miracles are? Events that are inexplicable, even as we witness them with our own eyes. Moments that are almost unbelievable, even as we experience them first hand.
Of course I know the limitations. We live in a world where children are constantly bombarded by a steady streaming scream of mass media and popular culture that threatens to drown out the Word of God at every possible angle, and from every possible screen size.
I know that I can’t just suddenly insert this word into Children’s Church, and start a (word) revolution. This is wishful thinking on my part.
I have hope though. One day, there will come a time when Godly thinking will supersede worldly views, and counteract legalistic views of how “church” should be “handled”. There will come an enlightened, empowered time when human thinking will put God first. All conversations then, all communication, will be seen and heard and filtered through the Words and Spirit of God.
But until then, I will continue to write and teach. I will continue to attempt to define the indefinable, describe the indescribable, with the many other beautiful words that are at my disposal.
Wonderful. Fantastic. Captivating. Fascinating.
The m word? Perhaps not, especially for children’s church.
But in my heart? God, You are indeed Magical.