Saturday, 27 December 2008

I Believe in Miracles II

For The Medicine Hat News "By the Way" column today:

I believe in miracles.

I believe, wonder of wonders, that two thousand or so years ago (the exact number doesn’t matter) a remarkable, probably teenaged, girl in what is now Israel became miraculously pregnant without having had sexual intercourse and became the virgin mother of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, my Saviour.

I believe the Magi followed that star and that the mothers wailed in Bethlehem and refused to be comforted when Herod tried to kill Jesus by having all their little sons killed. I don’t particularly like that bit, but I believe it.

I believe that Mary then went on to live a normal life (as normal a life as the mother of the Son of God can live) as a wife and mother while she and Joseph raised their first-born along with his siblings.

I believe Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan and that he performed many miracles as he lived his life among ordinary people like us. I believe Jesus died on the cross (I don’t particularly like that bit either, but I still believe it) and, wonder of miraculous wonders, literally rose again from the dead. I believe he is coming back in Glory and that one day I will get to meet him, the Risen Lord, literally, face to face.

Although all of that is God-with-us on a rather grand scale, and Jesus is no longer with us in the flesh, God is still miraculously with us in him and through the power of the Holy Spirit. We’re not in some sort of divine intermission. Miracles still happen.

I enjoy one every Sunday. I get to touch and taste and see God’s glory in Jesus, literally, as we celebrate Holy Communion Sunday by Sunday. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would choose to miss that, but many of us do. Some of us have come to think that other things are more important and have rationalized ourselves out of tune with such things.

Each year Christmas is an ideal time to get back in tune by asking God to re-enchant us with his miraculous truths and possibilities, especially in our relationships, our prayer, our worship, and the way we do our money (other than just hoping for some sort of miraculous deliverance from our post-Christmas debt).

Christmastide is the season in which to reopen ourselves to the wonder and enchantment of the “impossible” possibilities Jesus brings so we can be retuned for miracles. After all, writes Madeleine L’Engle:
This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There'd have been no room for the child.