Monday, December 21, 2009

One Grand Miracle

by Joel Heck
C. S. Lewis loved the story of the birth of Christ. In fact, he argued that the one Grand Miracle of Christianity is not the Crucifixion or the Resurrection, but Christ's birth. He saw every other miracle of Scripture as preparing for, demonstrating, or resulting from, the Incarnation.

Obviously our Lord would not have suffered the cross or led humankind from the grave if he had not been born.

Lewis calls a miracle "an interference with Nature by supernatural power." Thank God, he does interfere in our world! Left to our own instincts, we go our own way. God became one of us because he yearns to make us one with him. That's why God has been miraculously interfering for millennia. Just for starters, think of Abraham and Sarah becoming parents late in life, the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, or the rescue of Daniel from the lions. Perhaps you have experienced a miracle in your own life. But none of these, remarkable though they were, were as important as the Incarnation.

While we believe that God is near, Christ is in us, the Holy Spirit has been poured out on us, God remains hidden in these miracles. With the birth of Jesus, God becomes visible in a tiny body for a mother to hold, for shepherds to admire, for magi to worship. He Himself is the miracle! "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9), Jesus said. The Word became flesh. He became one of us-his Grand Miracle! Let us-who recognize the Miracle-bow the knee.

Lord, give us a new appreciation of the Grand Miracle, your coming to Earth, this Advent season. Amen.

Lewis wrote "...the Christian story is precisely the story of one grand miracle, the Christian assertion being that what is beyond all space and time, what is uncreated, eternal, came into nature, into human nature, descended into His own universe, and rose again, bringing nature up with Him. It is precisely one great miracle. If you take that away there is nothing specifically Christian left." ("The Grand Miracle," God in the Dock, 80)

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