Pratt pastor helps others discover the profound mystery of Christmas
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” . . . And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” . . . And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” --Luke 1:30
Apostle Paul made one of the most amazing statements about Christ’s Parousia (Greek word for ‘arrival’ or ‘coming’) when he wrote, "Profound indeed, we confess, is the mystery of the faith of godliness—that He was God veiled in human likeness.” (1 Timothy 3:16). This is the one single-most unique tenet of the Christian religion (so-called) that sets it far and away above and apart from every other religion of man—that the eternally existent God of all creation, who formed mankind in His image and likeness, did Himself appear in the form and likeness of man. The God whom no man can see and yet live became visible; the unreachable God became touchable; the fearful God became approachable; the mysterious God became knowable; the infinite One became a finite infant in the bosom of Mary—Jesus Christ!
But the question of Mary’s to the angel Gabriel has been on the lips of both believer and pragmatist from the beginning, “But how can this happen, since I am a virgin?” Indeed! Not to oversimplify things, it seems a waste of breath to ‘mansplain’ this purely intimate moment between a human mother and the Holy Spirit that results in the conception of the One who would be called, the Son of the Most High. If we could somehow make sense of this union of the physiological with the spiritual to satisfy the pragmatist, then it would no longer be, as Paul describes, “a profound mystery.” This is a statement of faith and must be received by faith, even in the same spirit of Mary’s reply, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
It’s interesting that the skeptics and nay-sayers poo-poo this idea of faith, yet the slogan, “Believe” is popular with things like sports, and in movies about Santa Claus. Yet, Mary believed, and the Christ child was conceived in her womb. In the same way today, whenever anyone believes in the Christ of Christmas, turning from their sin and unbelief, the Spirit of Christ becomes born in the manger of their heart. This is the true purpose of Christmas. Has the mystery of Christ been born in you?