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Home arrow Articles arrow The Miraculous in Perspective
The Miraculous in Perspective
Written by Pastor, Rev. Dr. Cecil Clements   

But GodIt doesn’t seem right.  We’ve hardly absorbed the wonderful birth of Jesus, the extraordinary obedience of Mary and Joseph, the curiosity of the wise men and the awe of lowly shepherds, when we’re confronted with Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten period.  It seems as if the after-glow of Christmas is cut cruelly short by the impending events of the cross, forcing us to move away from the innocence of the manger to the gravity of the happenings at Golgotha.  And I find myself resisting; resisting the move from revelry to sobriety, from celebration to introspection, from feasting to penitence and fasting.  It just doesn’t seem right.

And yet it is, for if we separate the cross from the birth, the miracle of the birth remains just that—a miraculous event.  But, bring in the cross and the birth takes on enormous significance because the miracle of the birth is justified by the fulfillment of its purpose.  The birth was but a point in the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption.  The incarnation without the crucifixion would have been just another miracle on a star-lit night and its significance and reach would have been as far as that generation.  But with the events of Calvary, justification became a reality, the atonement fell in place, God’s anger was appeased and the miraculous birth of Jesus culminated in the fulfillment of God’s awesome plan of salvation.

And that’s what makes it right.  The celebrations would be empty without the cross, but with it, we have cause to continue celebrating, for “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ His Son.”  It’s the life lived in obedience, miracles et al, wherein God’s purposes are fulfilled that makes it significant or not.  Miracles happen.  That’s part of God’s involvement in our life and in our world.  But the true measure of significance is whether those miracles aid in the fulfillment of God’s plan for our lives.

So how about you?  Have you experienced God’s miracles in your life or in the life of your family?  Have you allowed that miracle to propel you on to achieving all that God has planned for you?  Or are you still gazing starry-eyed at the wonderful thing that God did, immortalizing the moment, yet forgetting its purpose?
And so, I’m at peace with the incarnation and the crucifixion, knowing that these two seeming polarities provide for us the perfect way back to God.  The miracles in Jesus’ life went to aid His ultimate purpose of reconciling the world to God.  But, what about you and me?  Are we celebrating the miraculous things of our lives while blotting out the painful, hoping that these temporary aberrations will soon end and revelry will return?  Or do we see, as Jesus did, that joy and pain, the miraculous and the mundane “…all work together for good to them that love Him and are called according to His purposes?”

So, as Lent draws near may we embrace our highs and our lows, our nobility and our frailty, our perfections and our flaws, and go to the foot of the cross and say: “Nevertheless, Lord, let Thy will be done,” so that this year our one desire would be that every will and purpose that God has for us, scripted in the heavenlies, will find fulfillment in our lives through this year.

Pastor Cecil

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