Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Birth of Jesus

The book of Luke tells us that the angel of God said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” And so she became pregnant with the baby Jesus.

Soon after that, Mary went to spend several months with her relative Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah, who lived in the hill country, some distance away. The angel had also told Mary that Elizabeth was six months pregnant; beyond the child-bearing age, Elizabeth had been unable to conceive until then.

As soon as Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby in her womb, she said, “leaped for joy.” This baby, from the womb, recognized the Christ child in Mary’s womb. He was to be John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for the Messiah. The Holy Spirit within him saw the Christ and communicated joy to his spirit.

My friend and Sunday school teacher, whose name happens to be Mary, said this reaction of the unborn baby John to the unborn baby Jesus is a picture of what happens when we accept Christ. The Holy Spirit comes inside us to give us the mind of Christ so that we can discern truth. And so the Holy Spirit in us recognizes Jesus and causes our spirits to leap with joy.

On the previous Sunday morning, a man in our class said he wasn’t so sure all that was possible. In human terms, it is not possible.

Do I believe God can do anything—that he is omnipotent? If my answer is “yes,” then how can I question a pregnancy that happened without human intercourse? How can I question the pregnancy of an old, barren woman? How can I question one unborn baby’s reaction to another unborn baby?

Luke 1:37 says, “For nothing is impossible with God.”

The picture comes from this site: and it is entitled "His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful." The artist is Simon Dewey.

This is a re-print of this entry, from 2007. The picture is different.

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