Improbable

“Before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18)

Christmas is the outlandish pronouncement that God majors in the miraculous!

The details of the Christmas story, the ones we know by heart or easily neglect in the cacophony of the season, boldly announces that God supersedes the natural order with the supernatural.

God masterminds the unachievable with his how-can-this-possibly-be strategy. He takes an ordinary virgin named Mary and fashions her to be the mother of the Savior of the world. Virgins never conceive. Virgins don’t bear sons.

God speaks in dreams through angels to her betrothed Joseph and commissions him to protect and provide for the Son of God. He replaces the natural order of things with his supernatural turn of events. The Father moved heaven and earth’s regular routines, which were all at his disposal anyway, to present Jesus as “Immanuel (which means God with us)” (Matthew 1:23).

Hardly anything more ordinary than this phrase: “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus” (Matthew 1:21). A woman having a child and giving that child a name happens every minute in our world. But the next phrase lands in the supernatural: “for he will save his people from their sins.” That we are “his people” and he came to forgive us and rescue all of mankind from their sins falls squarely in God’s out-of-the-ordinary supernatural achievement.

God orchestrated all the moving parts in this world-shattering event so “The birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way” (Matthew 1:18). These are the clear facts: God performed a mind-blowing miracle when the virgin gave birth to a baby boy conceived by the Holy Spirit. Since that is the case, what could possibly lie in the realm of the impossible for him? Jeremiah answers that question with another: “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). Nothing, Lord. Absolutely nothing is too difficult for you! You made that so clear at Christmas.

Our natural response this season could involve being harassed, put out, distracted or entangled by the disconcerting pace of our demands and challenges. Our Christ-like response could be peace, generosity, selflessness, or gratitude. Christmas is, after all, God’s unapologetic declaration that he overrules the expected with the divine. He carries out the improbable and the impossible and everything in between.  

The predictable simply has to make way for the spectacular when God is leading the show.

Elizabeth A Mitchell

Photo Credit: Monicore on Pexels

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