This Christmas, seek out the mystery and rediscover miracle
By Walsall Advertiser | Friday, December 14, 2012, 09:20
WHAT do you think is the greatest miracle in the Bible? The parting of the Red Sea? The feeding of the five thousand? Raising Lazarus from the dead?
There's a strong case for saying it's the birth of a child. Early on in Genesis we follow the story of Abraham and Sarah in their desperate struggle to conceive – the heartache, the growing disappointment, the despair.
Finally comes elation in the birth of Isaac (whose name means laughter) and God's whole plan for them and for humanity, halted until now, springs into being.
The birth of a child is a miracle that unleashes a whole new potential into the world.
Maybe you have never had a child. This may be a source of great sorrow for you.
Yet you have still shared in that miracle, for you yourself once were it.
You yourself came into the world to see it afresh, as no-one else ever will in quite the same way.
You too are a miracle, for a miracle means a thing of wonder. You too have been granted this amazing gift of life, so beautiful yet so baffling, so painful yet so intoxicating.
I vividly remember being present at the birth of our own firstborn, just before Christmas back in 1979. I suppose it is one of those times when you have to decide, is life just so much biology?
Or is it a profound mystery which we sometimes touch at deeply significant moments?
When my beautiful daughter opened her eyes for the first time and looked round at the world, my heart was given irrevocably to her and I knew no other answer would do.
Nowhere is this miracle of birth so deeply expressed as in the Christmas story.
For in this birth God Himself set out upon the perilous journey of human life.
Happiness and heartache, beauty and sorrow, the rejection and pain of the cross and death itself were all to be illuminated forever by the presence of God incarnated in human flesh.
This Christmas, seek out the mystery and rediscover the miracle. See yourself and your life afresh, and the lives of those you love, through the light that came into the world and shone among us.
It's a God and people thing – the heart of Christianity and the heart of Christmas.
A very happy Christmas and lots of love from St Matthew's!