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Three M's of Christmas
12/25/2020 7:25:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn

While thinking about the miracle of Christmas, I was struck also with the marvel of it and the mystery of it.

We’re all aware of the miracle or miracles of Christmas. The world tries to mimic the birth of Christ, sometimes by glorifying an unwed mother in dubious circumstances. But Mary was not just an unwed mother who “got caught” fooling around, as we used to say.

Mary was a virgin, engaged to a man with whom she had never had sex. Her child was conceived by the Holy Ghost. Christ, who existed from the beginning and by whom the world was made, condensed himself and became the baby in Mary’s womb—the God-man who would redeem humanity.

Luke expresses that miracle in Luke 1:26-35. An angel visited a young virgin who lacked position and fame. Yes, she was of the lineage of David, as was her fiance, Joseph. Joseph’s trade was carpentry. He was a “blue collar worker,” an ordinary man with an extraordinary calling. An angel spoke to him as well, concerning the miracle of Christmas (Matt. 1:18-25).

The marvel of Christmas is that Jesus was born into conditions like poverty (Luke 2:1-7). Angels announced his birth to common men—shepherds in the field (Luke 2:8-17). And then Simeon’s blessing (Luke 2:28-32) at which Joseph and Mary marveled (v. 33): “a light to lighten the Gentiles” (v. 32). The Gentiles are all those nations not of God’s chosen people, Israel, and Jesus came to give us light.

Simeon’s prophecy continues (vv. 34-35), followed by Anna’s praise (vv. 36-38) for the redemption that had come to Jerusalem (and to the whole world).

The marvelous things spoken by Simeon and Anna suggest the mystery of Christmas, which is the gospel message.

Jesus speaks of the “mystery of the kingdom” (Mark 4:11). Paul, referring to the gospel message, calls it the “mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4; Col. 4:3); the “mystery of the gospel” (Eph. 6:19); the “mystery of the faith” (1 Tim. 3:9); the “mystery of godliness” (1 Tim. 3:16); and the “mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ” (Col. 2:2)—the triune God.

This mystery was the eternal purpose of God—to send his son to redeem “whosoever believes” and to reconcile them to himself. This mystery “was kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25).

This mystery was, from the beginning, “hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:9). His plan was that he could “dwell in [our] hearts by faith” (Eph. 3:17).

Our experience of the new birth in Christ—having his spirit in us—is the mystery of Christmas. And he came for all—the poor, the ordinary, the uneducated and educated, the wealthy, the famous—“whosoever believes.”

So, at this time in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Son of God, let’s rejoice in the miracle, the marvel, and the mystery of his birth, and of faith which makes us born again in him.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 MEV).

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