The Mystery of Christmas

Everyone loves a mystery; that’s why mystery stories are so popular. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle popularized the story that gives us a mystery to be solved with his stories about Sherlock Holmes. Another great mystery novelist was Agatha Christie. Usually a mystery is a murder mystery, but there’s a mystery story that deals with a birth. This mystery story has a young woman named Mary as the main character.

An angel, his name is Gabriel, appeared to Mary and told her she would find herself with child, without benefit of a man’s participation. Mary was engaged, but she was following God’s guideline that sexual intimacy was designed by God to be enjoyed as part of a marriage, not outside of marriage. In other words, she was a virgin, and planned to stay a virgin until she was married to her fiance, Joseph. She couldn’t conceive how she could conceive!

Non-religious people, many who claim to be “spiritual but not religious” and people of other religions often respect the life and ministry of Jesus, but they can’t accept that He was and is God in the flesh, and they can’t accept the virgin birth. It isn’t possible, they claim. It makes no sense. In a way those of us who are committed followers of Christ agree! We can’t understand it, let alone explain it. We believe it because we believe it happened. There are many things in life I don’t understand and yet evidence compels me to believe or trust.

Immanuel, one of the names for Jesus, means God with Us — yes, God-come-to-earth, God with us, God as one of us! What an amazing mystery!

“You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1: 31-32)


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