Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010

"For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37

Much of the lore and legend surrounding Christmas centers around impossible things happening.
For example, the story of a benign and jolly man who lives around the North Pole with a large population of highly skilled elves and a herd of flying reindeer. This industrious bunch craft a wide variety of toys to distribute to every child in the world during the night-time hours of Christmas Eve. Sound impossible? Ah, but don't forget that he has the benefit of the supersonic flying reindeer to propel his sleigh!
In fact, the REAL story of Christmas featured some fairly fantastic unfolding of events.
For example, the birth of John the Baptist. Consider this account from Luke 1:11-25
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” 19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” 21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak. 23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
When God needed a prophet to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, He did it in an impossible way! Out of the weakness of an elderly priest and his barren wife, came John the Baptist. These good and faithful people had borne the shame of infertility their entire married life. Having a son was a sign of God's sanction and blessing upon your life and marriage. So, here is a highly spiritual couple having to live under the shadow of doubt regarding their lack of a son. It was a burden that they had suffered together through the years. I am sure they had lost count of the times they had cried out to God, apparently to no avail.
Don't you think they struggled through some faith issues? You have had enough disappointments with God that you can identify with their heartaches. But in the end, as all people of faith do, they came to grips with the will of God for their lives.
After all that, and now that conception was a physical impossibility for this aged couple, they impossible announcement comes to Zechariah from no less that Gabriel himself! Their prayers had been heard, their faith had been honored and their dreams would come true. What had been impossible to them was about to happen for them! Why? How?
Because "nothing is impossible with God"!
The good news of Christmas is that God is not limited by our weakness! He is not diminished by our humanity!
Because of Christmas - because of Christ - everything is possible! Miracles can happen! Through Christ, God can bring wins out your your weaknesses! Through Christ, God can bring fulfillment out of your futility. Because of Christmas your dreams can arise amid your doubts! Because of Christ there are no dead ends in your life!
As you gear up for your celebration of Christmas - celebrate this - Christmas proves that "nothing is impossible with God!"