It's Hard To Believe, Or Is It?
It's hard to believe.
The whole story that we celebrate during Advent is hard to believe.
A virgin conceives and bears a son.
Angels appearing in the sky to shepherds on a hillside.
God becoming human.
I get it when people tell me that it's hard to believe these stories.
I also completely understand when someone who is an avowed atheist presents the accounts of Jesus' birth as Exhibit A in their long list of things they can't bring themselves to accept as true.
I've had my own moments when I let the full weight of the impossibility of it all land on me and rest like a heavy, leaden shroud. That kind of weight can crush the breath out of belief, to be sure.
And there was a time in my life when I did stop believing. It got too hard to hold it all in my head enough for it to take hold of my heart.
But there was a thing that I eventually came back to, and I keep coming back to over and over again whenever I start to struggle with the impossibility of the Advent story...
When you give up your ability to be filled with wonder at the possibility of miracles--you cease to live the kind of abundant and joy-filled life that God longs for you to live.
Former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold once wrote:
God does not die on the day we cease to believe in a personal deity. But we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance of wonder renewed daily, the source of which is beyond all reason.Maybe you have struggled with your beliefs about this Advent story, and the God who initiated it. Maybe you know someone who has.
My desire for you today is that you choose wonder. Choose to be blown away by the unexpected. Choose to believe that miracles are possible... because who wants to live in a world where they aren't?
May this be so for you, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.