Read Luke 1:30-38.
Myths are man-made legends created to explain certain phenomenon. For example, Frosty the Snowman is a story explaining why snowmen melt. There have been many myths attached to Christmas, but Christmas isn’t celebrated for its myths. It’s celebrated for its miracles. Myths are created by man, but miracles are created by God.
One of the great miracles of Christmas is the virgin birth. And yet many have rejected this miracle filing it away as a man-made myth. One reason for viewing the virgin birth as a myth is that it seems irrational, defying science; some claim it is impossible. Of course it’s impossible, that’s why it is a miracle.
Mary wondered the same thing when she was told of God’s plan, but the angel assured her: “Nothing will be impossible with God.” In fact, miraculous births were nothing new for the Lord. He created life with his word in the beginning. He gave Abraham and Sarah their son Isaac in their old-age, just as he gave Zechariah and Elizabeth their son John in their old age.
Another reason many view the virgin birth of Christ as merely a man-made myth is that others in history claimed to be born of a virgin. Plato, Alexander the Great, and Augustus were all reportedly born of a virgin. Thus Jesus is viewed as standing in the long line of virgin birth myths. But before you are persuaded by that argument, think about this: Do the millions of counterfeit dollars circulating around the world negate the value of the dollar bill in your wallet? There are millions of illegal aliens in our country. Based on their existence should one assume that you are not really a US citizen? Similarly then, because there are many other counterfeit myths, does that negate the truth of the miracle of Jesus’ birth? That line of thinking is to me irrational.
Considering all this, perhaps we could say that there is even a greater miracle of Christmas, an act of God greater than the virgin birth and the incarnation. Read the announcement the angel made to Mary:
“And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy- the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” — Luke 1:30-38 NIV
The great miracle is that Mary believed. She believed the word of the LORD, even though it seemed irrational and beyond her imagination that God would choose her. Martin Luther writes:
“The virgin birth is a mere trifle for God; that God should become man is a greater miracle; but the most amazing of all is that this maiden should believe the announcement that she, rather than some other virgin, had been chosen to be the mother of God.”
Our faith is perhaps the greatest miracle of Christmas, for it is God’s act through the Holy Spirit that enables us to believe that which has been made known to us about Jesus. You see, the miracle of Christmas is not just a past miracle of Mary’s response and the shepherds who believed, but it is a present miracle in our lives too. This Christmas though many young adults will continue to reject God’s word and treat it as a myth, the miracle of Christmas is that God is acting for us and our salvation. Through his word and sacraments he will save, sustain, and strengthen people in their faith.
The miracle of Christmas is that by God’s grace we believe that the first Noel happened for us. We believe that our God who miraculously brought Jesus from the virgin womb, also brought Jesus from the tomb. Moreover, we believe the babe once place in a manger, now sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, to whom be praise, honor, and glory forever and ever.
Have a great day in the Lord!