There’s a joke out there that goes something like this:
A group of scientists looked around at all that humankind could accomplish with their technology and intelligence like healing, cloning, bio-engineering, etc. They decided the human race no longer needed God so they elected one of the scientists to go tell God the news. The scientist approached God and said, “on behalf of humankind we have determined that we no longer need you God. We can create and improve the world without your help”. God listened patiently and then with deep compassion God replied, “OK, I see… well why don’t we settle this with a competition. Adam, my first human creation was made from the dirt. Each of us will create a living being from the dirt and the one who is able to do it successfully wins.” Immediately, the scientist took the challenge knowing they possessed many technologies to build life from dirt. As the scientist bent down to scoop a handful of dirt to start his creative work God said, “Wait! Stop! This is MY dirt. Go make your own dirt”.
Of course, the moral of the joke is that the even though humankind may be able to do some miraculous things… all of our accomplishments are made possible by the fact God creates EVERYTHING… even the dirt on the ground.
How easy it is for us to overlook God’s daily miracles in the world. We even tend to take our very LIVES for granted… like we are entitled to them rather than seeing them as a great gift. The same thing often happens with the Christmas Miracle of Jesus’ birth. A baby born 2000 years ago half way around the world just doesn’t seem as spectacular as the holly jolly merry-making of a modern American Christmas. Sure, we SAY the season is about God’s love and the birth of our Savior, but we very quickly move to singing Jingle Bells and shopping for gifts.
Sometimes the greatest miracles of all show up in very ordinary ways and if we are not careful we can miss them. Take, for example the very ‘ordinary’ sign by which Jesus’ birth would be signaled:
I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11)
THAT’S the sign? a baby in a manger. What can seem less spectacular than that? But, as we follow the story we find indeed this IS something spectacular and world-changing, and we find out something very important about God:
God is working grace-filled, life-giving miracles all around us through very ordinary ways. Don’t miss the miracle this Christmas.