December 25, 2012
"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told to them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
Kenneth L. Samuel
If you really think about it, the Christmas story is far too amazing to be fully comprehended. An ancient prophesy from Isaiah promising the birth of a child who would be called 'Wonderful' and on whose shoulders the government would rest. An imperial tax emanating from Rome that brings a carpenter and his pregnant fiancee to the obscure little town of Bethlehem. A barn that serves as a venue for the first-born of a young virgin. Shepherds on the night shift enraptured by a multitude of the heavenly host proclaiming: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace. Good will toward men."
The amazement of those who witnessed these events firsthand has not dissipated in over 2000 years. Today, we still speak of the baby born in Bethlehem with an awesome wonder. We still gather around manger scenes and Christmas trees with a certain joy that is unspeakable. We are still astounded by the miracle of life that is divinely manifested in the midst of all our taxing troubles, trials and tribulations.
In a world in which so much of our persistent analysis results in so much paralysis and inertia, isn’t it good to just relax and hold some of the deep mysteries of life in reverent meditation? And is it not refreshing to know that life itself is not really dependent upon our ability to comprehend everything? Is not Christmas a time that beckons each of us to simply be thankful for that which we cannot explain? Is this not a time to deeply appreciate and meditate on miracles?
Revelations that are incomprehensible. Miracles. Experiences of life that are unexplainable. Miracles. Mysteries of God that are unfathomable. Miracles. Peace that passes understanding. Miracles.
Mother Mary knew that the miracle of Jesus could not be reduced to logic. She knew that while the birth of Jesus could be fully experienced, it could never be fully explained. So she gave her will to control through comprehension a rest, and opened her heart and mind to the awesome wonder of the Christ event. And in so doing she found the great treasures of Christmas in the sacred pondering of her own heart and in the inexpressible gratitude of her own consciousness. What an amazing gift to give oneself on this Christmas day.
Dear Lord, we are in wondrous awe of your miracles of life and new life on this Christmas day. Thank you for keeping us amazed. Amen.
About the Author
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.
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