Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work
Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder. (Isaiah 29:14)
The festive days are now much closer. We need to do some things – pack to travel, prepare for guests, shop the fridge full, pick up the turkey or whatever your fare may comprise.
Christmas is special, that’s for sure. Christian or secular, these are days that interrupt the normal schedule. Days of relaxation, days of family, days of joyous reunions and also days of old wounds, buried anger and deep disappointment.
Where are you this week before Christmas? Are you in a frenzy of activity with a load of things to do and quietly panicky? Are you alone with nothing to look forward to? Is Christmas a mountain of pent up bitterness that has not moved for you? Is this the first Christmas after heartbreaking tragedy? Is it the first Christmas with a new baby in the family?
Wherever and in whatever circumstances you may find yourself in, take time to reflect and experience a miracle. Some or other time a tray full of niceties may be offered to you this Christmas. Even if you cannot look forward to something wonderful in the physical world, God has the miracle tray all ready. We may be very sure of it based on that baby’s birth so long ago in the calculation of earthly time. He is waiting for your call.
Will you be quiet with me for just a little while? Please join the true Feast to hold on to as an anchor for the days to come. The majesty of the miracle in a simple cave or barn in Bethlehem so long ago, echoes to this day.
In this moment of prayer, there is one aspect of the greater message that God calls attention to in my heart to write. Above all else, Christmas is the earthly telescope to see the Father’s heart. His heart is set on this broken world and His eyes are looking for a heart to respond to. His response is a miracle in your life.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
His eye is on you this Christmas. He is actively involved in your private feasting in His presence. He wants to be. Hear how the Psalmist expresses this desire of God (32:8):
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you. (NLT)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye. (NKJV)
We have talked about the rainbow in previous Pebble-pieces. Do you remember we said the rainbow is always there; it depends on how we look? We need a prism, some Godly eyeglasses, to see. Christmas is a miracle prism. If we look through the Christmas prism, we see the rainbow – the full content of the Covenant promise that was made to Noah. The Covenant is the heart of our great God promising to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts choose Him.
Choose Him in this quiet moment we have together and have yourself a miracle. How does it happen?
Let us go to our Bible study in the Gospel of John – not to the nativity story, but to the story of an active Jesus amongst the needs of the people. John 4:46 and further:
And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum…
The man who came is a courtier (basilikos), the word used for a royal official and somebody of high standing at the court of Herod. Jesus was the village carpenter. Jesus was in Cana and this man lived in Capernaum, some twenty miles away. It took him some time to get home.
The scene is odd to say the least. An important man coming over to see a village carpenter was not very likely. Lots of pride is swallowed. It is obvious his need was deep. He gave no thought of what the people would say.
He refused to be discouraged. Jesus’ statement is not very encouraging:
“Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
Jesus was probably talking to the crowd that inevitably collected. He was making sure the man was serious just like He did with the Syro-Phoenician woman in Matthew 15:21-28. If the man turned away in anger it would have been his loss. His faith proved to be real.
His faith transcended his feelings – it is super-important.
This is a nobleman, a high official displaying surprising faith. Was it easy to turn back and just believe the word of this simple carpenter? I think not. He was like a drowning man clutching to hope given to him.
This encounter illustrates the powerful impartation of peace in the words of Jesus. His hope fuelled his faith. Jesus’ promise of healing just had to be true.
He surrendered. He and his whole household believed. He didn’t receive healing and just forgot. It was a complete “revolution” in his house. It could not have been easy around Herod. The news of the healing was bound to get out. He would have had to withstand mockery and accusations of madness.
He faced and accepted the facts. He surrendered to the miracle. His need was met and he honoured the man through whom it came. This is the true Christian life.
We live in the days after the resurrection. We know the power of God. Will you trust Him and surrender to your miracle?
Go ahead and ask Him.
His eye is already on you. Receive the peace in these words:
For there is born to you this day in the city of David
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.