Monday, December 21, 2015

Advent 2015 December 22

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Yesterday’s post touched on something I want to note:  We see in the Christmas story that miracle is mixed with the material.  The miracle or mystery is seen in interventional aspects that aren’t supposed to happen:  virgin and old age conception, dreams, angels, an out-of-the-natural star.  The material is everything else:  a fiancé who doesn’t see a way out of a socially embarrassing predicament, a teenage girl who doesn’t understand what’s going on in her body, a tyrannical king afraid of anything that would dethrone him, a tax from Rome (governments and taxes and census have nothing miraculous to them), giving birth in an uncomfortable setting (women do it today all over the world), poverty, shepherds. 

The material, the ordinary and mundane, the physical, are prominent in the story and while we would want more details (inquiring minds want to know), far more details are given of this birth than any other biblical or ancient one.  “The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise,” the old KJV says.  The human and worldly are given more detail than the miraculous; the miraculous are stated matter-of-factly as if angels appear to people everyday and God speaks to us every night.

Well, maybe they do.  Maybe the miraculous is all around us and we just don’t have the reception equipment to hear it.  Sitting here right now I have wifi as I type; I have the equipment to receive the Internet.  But not always—if I close the computer and walk away, I am oblivious to all the Internet around me.   My view is that God speaks to us all the time; we just don’t listen.  The miraculous happens all the time; we just don’t take it in. Instead of dismissing the miraculous, perhaps we have it backward.  The miracle of God’s intervention all the time is normal and the material without his intervention is rare.  Just a thought.

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