LUKE’S CHRISTMAS GOSPEL OF JESUS: A 30-Day Christmas-Time Devotional.
The Immaculate Conception.
Luke 1: 34-35 (MsgB)
 Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you. Therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God.”
The Immaculate Conception.
A holy birth.
Isn’t it a pity that these two little verses in Luke’s story have caused so much hubbub amongst Christians over the centuries?
Scholars and theologians. Believers and skeptics. They all have taken their turn over the centuries debating the legitimacy of Mary’s pregnancy as Luke describes it here. Just as it was painfully difficult for Mary’s family and friends to accept this idea of the birth of a child occurring without sex between a man and a woman, so it has been a hot topic throughout the last two thousand years. Just as Joseph, Mary’s betrothed, struggled with this idea of a holy conception, so people today scratch their heads, debating whether or not Mary should be viewed as an everyday human being or one who with supernatural birthing abilities.
Now, it’s certainly OK if you and I hold very strong opinions on this subject, but I find it interesting that Luke, a doctor himself, didn’t find it necessary when telling his story, to add a lot of in-depth theological commentary as he was describing how Mary became “great with child.”
As a matter-of-fact, isn’t it intriguing that Luke tells us about this amazing miracle in such a matter-of-fact way?
Could it be that Luke wants his readers to spend less time debating the theologies of Mary and her virgin birth, and more time marveling at the wonders of a God who would choose to bring His Holy Son into the world in such a humble manner?
Maybe we miss the point when we hassle one another on the virgin birth theologies. Maybe in our desire to bring human logic to something that God just might not want to explain, we miss the larger point surrounding the wonders of God?
Maybe I need to take in Luke’s words here and treat them like I treat the special times I stand quietly on the shores of a beautiful lake, looking eastward toward the sun rising on the horizon. Yes, it might be interesting for someone at that moment to step up to me and tell me the scientific reasons behind what I’m seeing. Indeed, it’s interesting to know how the waves of light emanating from the sun are actually reflecting off the cumulus clouds, bending the waves in such a way that it makes my eyes see multiple shades of red, pink and orange. But, thank you my friend. Hold that thought.
Right now, I’d like to simply take in the beauty of all I’m seeing without any commentary.
So, it might be with the holy conception of Jesus.
Let’s just be quiet for a moment and take in the wonder of it all!
My prayer: Lord, the wonder of Your earthly conception is larger than what my human logic can sometimes contain. Yet, as I study Your Word, I realize there is an on-going lesson that You are trying to teach me: Your ways are bigger than mine. Your wisdom and logic are greater than my limited ability to reason or understand. Help me, Holy Spirit, to rest my brain for a just moment when I read passages like the one I read today, so that I don’t miss the beauty of the moment. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So, where has my hunger for logic and reason become so uncontrollable that it has stolen away my innocence and my desire for simple beauty? How has my adult mindset gotten in my way so that I find myself unable to embrace the things of this world that are greater than my understanding? What do I need to become more childlike in nature, seeing the world through the eyes of simple faith?
So what is God speaking to you today? Are you practicing the Kingdom presence of God?
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