Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Problem of Impossibility

As we anticipate another Christmas, sometimes it seems we’re pondering the imponderable: A virgin becoming pregnant and having a child. God “becoming flesh,” being born under very ordinary circumstances in an inconspicuous setting. A stable accommodating divinity. This baby growing up, becoming peerless teacher, role model, and ultimately, Savior.

The Christmas story seems so incredible,
no one would have imagined it.
From a human perspective, it would be easy to label all of the above as impossibilities. Certainly agnostics and atheists prefer to relegate the New Testament narrative to “myth” or “fable.” Yet once again, on Dec. 25, countless millions will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Many of them can attest to the life-changing, transformational impact of being followers of Jesus.

No other person’s life has influenced mankind to the magnitude of the carpenter from Nazareth, the one called “the good shepherd,” “the way, the truth and the life,” “the true vine,” “the Lamb of God,” “the light of the world.”

Still, God taking on human form? It seems so…impossible. But then, that’s what God is all about – doing the impossible, existing and working beyond the scope of human comprehension. As the angel responded in Luke 1:37 when Mary asked how she, a virgin, could bear a child: “For nothing is impossible with God.”

Later in the same book, Jesus made a similar declaration: “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

There, in just a handful of words, we find the crux of the dilemma. We are asked, by faith, to believe in the seemingly impossible, trusting in a God unlimited by time, space, or circumstances. Disbelief doesn’t daunt Him; sin doesn’t stalemate Him.

Years ago, “Mission: Impossible” was a popular TV series. More recently, films starring Tom Cruise have carried the same title. But when it comes to carrying out missions impossible, Jesus Christ must rank as the all-time champion.   

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