Children have a wonderful fascination with Christmas. One Sunday during Christmas, the preschool choir at our church presented a short musical program.
One of the little boys was standing right next to a row of live poinsettias. He completely ignored the rest of the choir and congregation, squatted down by the flowers, cocked his head to one side, and examined the poinsettia with great interest.
Then he sat down next to the flower, and gently rubbed his hands on the big red leaves of the plant. I kept watching, hoping he would not try to eat it. He never ate it, but he certainly drank it in with his eyes.
Once, I heard some children discussing who was baby Jesus’ father. One of them said, “His name is Verge.” This confused the others, so they asked where he got the idea that Jesus’ father was named “Verge.” He said, “You know, they’re always talking about Verge ‘n Mary.”
Perhaps the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ is one of the most fascinating and difficult things for children to understand about Christmas. It can be even more difficult for teenagers and adults, who understand how babies are supposed to be born.
A Lutheran pastor told me that Martin Luther said that the two greatest miracles of Christmas were the Virgin Birth and that Joseph believed Mary. How true!
The Bible clearly teaches that Mary was a virgin, yet gave birth to Jesus. How can this be? The angel explained it to Mary in Luke 1:35: “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.” It was foretold by the Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 7:14; Jeremiah 31:32), yet how could it happen?
It happened when God planted the divine seed within Mary, not by some crudely physical union, but by the overshadowing of God’s Spirit, for God is not a man but is Spirit (John 4:24). Thus scripture teaches that from the moment of His conception, Jesus was fully God and fully man.
When I think of the wonder of the Virgin Birth, I feel like that little preschool choir member next to the poinsettia. I just want to sit down next to it, gaze at it, and gently feel the truth of it in my soul. Let’s not lose that child-like wonder at the Christmas story.
(Copyright 2013 by Bob Rogers. Email: email@example.com. Read this column each Friday in the Herald. Visit my blog at www.bobrogers.me.)