The Evangelical Church has got a problem.
Oh, of course sin is rampant. Many people have turned their backs on organized religion, refusing to align themselves with the local church. And we are largely walking away from the Bible, no longer esteeming it as the inspired, God-breathed Word of our heavenly Father.
But we've got another big problem today. We no longer believe in MIRACLES.
We only believe what we see, hear, taste, smell and touch. If it can't be experienced through our five senses, we don't believe it exists. Of course we believe that Jesus came to earth as a lowly baby and that He lived a perfect life and died on the cross for our sins. We believe that He healed the sick. That he raised the dead. That He turned water to wine.
Yet at Christmastime 2011, do we believe that He still performs miracles? Do I believe?
Let's pick up where we left off in Luke's retelling of our Savior's birth. I'll summarize the next events for you. After the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary, he revealed God's calling on her life.
- He told her not to fear
- He reminded her that she had found favor with God
- She would conceive a son, and should name Him Jesus
- He would be great and be called Son of the Most High
- God would give Him the throne of His ancestor David, and He would reign forever; His kingdom would never end
Gabriel explained how this pregnancy would occur: the Holy Spirit would come upon her. This pregnancy and birth would be lived out in the natural, but conception would occur in the supernatural. Hers would be a miraculous birth. And to remind Mary of God's miraculous powers, Gabriel told Mary that her elderly relative Elizabeth was pregnant as well. As a matter of fact, this "mature" lady was already in her sixth month!
Gabriel's most powerful words -- often quoted today -- are found in verse 37.
Say this to yourself out loud. Nothing is impossible with God.
Okay, again. Nothing is impossible with God.
One more time. And maybe this time it'll stick. Nothing is impossible with God!