Day Fourteen: The Possibility of the Miraculous

Lalo Garcia   Nativity. Mixed Media on Canvas 2004. Used with permission all rights reserved. To purchase prints or original artwork please visit the artist’s site.

From CIVA Exhibition: Highly Favored: Contemporary Images Of The Virgin Mary

A favorite Christmas carol starts, “O Little Town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie!  Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.”  To most of the world there was nothing special about the night when Jesus was to be born.  Even those close to the town of Bethlehem knew nothing about the events that were about to unfold.  It would be only after an angel had announced them to shepherds who were in nearby fields that anyone in the vicinity would even be aware that something had happened.

Even to Mary and Joseph it would have been difficult to see the miraculous in the events.  Certainly any birth is a miracle, but Mary and Joseph had traveled long and hard to reach Bethlehem.  And then, the only place that they could find for Mary’s baby to be born was a stable.  Not miraculous surroundings.


Yet, even though no one could see that a miracle was about to happen, God was at work bringing about the plans he had set in motion centuries before.  Of course, God had spoken about what would happen through the prophets; and the people had the words of the prophets written in scripture.  And Mary and Joseph had heard God’s plan from the angels.  They had been told that something miraculous was about to happen.  But to the naked eye there was nothing special about that night—the night when God did the most miraculous thing imaginable: he became a man.


And if that night looked like any other, then isn’t it possible that God is “up to something” right now, and we are not even aware of it?  We have God’s promises in scripture.  We know God’s love for us.  We know that because of his great love he is continually working to accomplish his purposes and bring about his kingdom.  So, we must recognize that every moment is pregnant with the possibility of the miraculous!  We must allow Christmas to remind us that regardless of our circumstances, we are to live expecting God to amaze us.


Holy God, you have shown me light and life.
You are stronger than any natural power.
Accept the words from my heart
That struggle to reach you.
Accept the silent thoughts and feelings
That are offered to you.
Clear my mind of the clutter of useless facts.
Bend down to me, and lift me in your arms.
Make me holy as you are holy.
Give me a voice to sing of your love to others.

—a prayer from an early papyrus document (second to fourth century) *