If there is one thing I could binge on, it would be Christmas movies. I was glad that the Hallmark channel saw the need to start running Christmas movies in July. Hey, before you point those fingers at me, I could name a few names of some avid Christmas decorations collectors. I thought I might be in need of rehab until I read this headline from Time News this morning, “Sick of the cheesy Christmas movies? Watch these irreverent holiday specials instead.” Flipping through the list, some of them were down right irreverent! No thanks! I will stick with my movies, songs, and a host of other things that unashamedly keeps the spirit and the name of Christmas in it. Despite what the critics say, the old song says it best, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” But what makes Christmas so special? I think the one recurring theme that stands out the most, is Christmas is a time of miracles!
Christmas is all about miracles because the birth of Christ itself is by definition a 100 percent miracle. Simply put, the definition of a miracle is the divine intervention in the ordinary course of nature. Why do you think Mary asked the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” The angel then explained that the Holy Ghost would come upon her and the power of the Highest would overshadow her; therefore the “holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:34-35). Plus the fact that the angel informed May about her barren cousin was having a baby as well. The ending of the angelic announcement is probably responsible for the continuation of these ongoing miraculous occurrences more than any other scripture, “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
Speaking of miracles, or the attempt to discredit them, I found it amazing the amount of discussion about the sign that God gave to King Ahaz although he refused to ask for it. God said, I will give you a sign anyway! Here it is Ahaz: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). Most of the theological fodder was aimed at the keyword “virgin” or almah in Hebrew. In all fairness, the nay-sayers are trying to be accurate to the text and fix this sign to the events at or near the time that the message was given. Ahaz was concerned with a escaping the attack of Syria and Ephraim from the North. Isaiah and his wife conceive a son. The Bible says nothing about her being a virgin, and the name of the child was far from Immanuel. His name is so long I won’t even type it.
His birth in some way does appear to be a sign to Ahaz that God will protect Judah from the attack of the Syrians (Isa. 8:8). The use of Immanuel in this verse could simply be referring to God being “with them” and sparing them from the battle that was brewing on his border. Let’s call this the near-sighted view, but the real question should be, was God referring to just Ahaz’s situation or something further in the future? Probably both the near-sighted and the far-sighted interpretation would be most accurate. We know this because the New Testament writers quote the Immanuel sign, or Emmanuel as found in Matthew, and give it a second meaning concerning the birth of Jesus to Mary. I guess you could say Isaiah had a really bad case of far-sightedness!
OK back to the Christmas movies. After you have watched a couple, you have this assurance that no matter how life-threatening the situation, how bad the wayward child, or the severity or the economic crisis is, it always turns out good in the end. The miraculous family reunions, provisions, marriages, saving the farm, the business, or the whole town in the case of It’s a Wonderful Life, always come through just in time for Christmas! I know you may be thinking what in the world does all this have to do with my Christmas miracle? It has everything to do with it because the Christmas movie outcome is the best description I can give you of how God wants us to believe him. In the one verse that everyone knows in Jeremiah, God is thinking thoughts toward us. These are “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jer. 29:11). In other words, in order to get your miracle, you have to get the right ending in your spirit. You have to get God’s end. I know it’s a lot easier to do when you are watching the old movie, but you must ask God for the correct ending to your present situation and hold on to it, no matter what may look like at the present. Keep believing in your Christmas miracle and with the eye of faith, hold on to The End!