Christmas is almost with us again. The excitement and fever is building up, as the stress levels of adults and children increase by the day, ramped up by the retail trade, who have come to depend on big sales at Christmas to increase their profits. It should be a time when Christ is at the forefront of our minds, but sadly, life becomes so busy around Christmas time that Christ can be pushed out of our thoughts.
Now, if we do manage to give some thought to Christ at Christmas, what do our thoughts centre upon? Is it what we call ‘the miracle of the virgin birth’ or do we dig deeper. The fact of the matter is that there was no miracle in the birth of Jesus. It was a natural process which every mother goes through as part of normal life. The birth itself was not a miracle, even although the mother was a virgin. Yet the virgin birth lays upon us the really big question: if there was no male involved in His conception, how was He conceived? The answer is that His conception was a miracle. In fact the conception of Jesus Christ was the biggest, and the most astounding miracle of all. There is nothing to compare with what took place in the conception of Jesus Christ in the womb of the virgin Mary, that is, the womb of a sinner. This miracle stands alone among all miracles.
There, God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, entered and took a created human nature into permanent union with His own eternal divine person! That is the miracle of Christmas, not the birth of Christ, but what we call the incarnation, that is the enfleshment of God the Son. What followed from that miracle was the development of the embryo through the normal and natural process to full term in the normal, natural time; and then the birth; again normal and natural in every way. I have used the description ‘normal and natural’ three times in the last sentence, because it is so important.
The miracle was in the conception. The practice and doctrines of the early church, which we call the ‘Apostolic Church’ are of crucial importance to the church in all ages. It is the authoritative pattern which we must follow. There we find that little attention was paid to the celebration of the birth of Christ, but much about the miraculous conception. The words of John 3:16 are among the most well known of all scripture verses, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. That was the greatest act of ‘giving’ of all time, and it took place at the conception of Jesus ]Christ, not at His birth. To take one other text, in John 1: 14, “The Word, (that is the eternal Son of God) was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
Let us then think a little deeper about Christmas, and let us be amazed at what God has done for sinners. The more we think about it the more our amazement grows. Perhaps we might even feel compelled to fall on our knees and worship Him and receive Him that we might get RightWithGod this christmas,