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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A Christmas Miracle

The day after Christmas, and it makes me think. One word we often associate with Christmas is "miracle". It feels like a natural. You may come up with a variety of images when I say, "Christmas miracle," but you won't likely draw a blank. Maybe it's the Classic A Miracle on 34th Street where a store Santa turns out the be the real thing. Maybe it's the news of the day. This year a cruise ship crew rescued two fishermen lost at sea for 20 days. "I don't know about you," a Royal Caribbean International representative said, "but I've already seen a Christmas miracle." Or maybe it's the warmth and joy of the season. Or something else.

I never taught my kids that there was a Santa Claus. You can surmise, then, that it didn't make me or them particularly popular at this time of year. One mother took me to task for it. Her kids went to the same Christian school mine did. "You need to make your son be quiet about Santa. He told my daughter there was no such thing. Do you want him to ruin the miracle of Christmas for other children??!" Yes, that would be one of the things that would come to mind with the phrase, "Christmas miracle." It's that guy from the North Pole who visits every house in every place in one evening delivering whatever it is each child wants. Quite a miracle. If it was true.

It is true that "Christmas" and "miracle" go together, but why is it that we come up with so many varied thoughts? Why is it that we think of some fictional guy in a red suit and beard who delivers coal to bad kids and gifts to good kids in the blink of an eye overnight before we think of the God-become-Man, Savior-born-of-a-virgin, God's-answer-to-our-universal-sin-problem miracle? Why is it that "Santa Claus is coming to town" is more of a Christmas miracle than "Though He was in the form of God, He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men" (Php 2:6-7)? Jesus fulfilled multiple prophecies offered hundreds, even thousands of years before His birth. Precise predictions filled to perfection. How is that miracle less than a mythical gift-giver who offers good to "good children" and bad to bad children?

I believe in the Christmas miracle. I just wish we -- especially we Christians -- could keep in mind just what that miracle was and savor the magnitude of it. That Christmas miracle is a life-changing, forever kind of miracle. The Son of God born to die for my sin? Now that is a miracle to celebrate ... year-round.

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