Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Happy Jesus' Birthday -- Today and Everyday
Maybe not on exactly this day or with these particular animals present.
It is unlikely that the garments worn were this pristine. Nor do we know who arrived exactly when or in what numbers.
What we do know is that this really happened. A Jewish baby was born sometime during the reign of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus. He grew up and was crucified sometime during the reign of Tiberius Caesar.
He claimed to be the son of God; more, he claimed to be God. He said a person's response to this claim would determine that person's future for all eternity.
As C.S. Lewis put it, "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." (Mere Christianity, 1952)
Some people argue Lewis's logic.
Their arguments tend to hinge on the question of whether anything outside this natural world can be proved to exist -- proved using the scientific method, that is. One group has even offered a "million dollar challenge" to anyone who thinks he or she can prove any kind of supernatural occurrence. The parameters and protocols are set by the group.
The logic here escapes me. Isn't this a bit like using a microscope to study a galaxy -- only magnified exponentially. The galaxy, after all, exists within the same realm as the objects studied by the microscope. Still, the analogy seems valid. To study another existence, surely we would need tools from that existence.
All I can say is, I know what I was before I said "Thy will, not mine," and I know what I am now. I know where my thoughts and plans and motivations were leading me. . . and I know where His thoughts and plans and motivations have brought me. Someone today looking at me from the outside may see only the imperfections yet to be sanded away and not notice anything of what has already been done because they have no frame of reference of what I was before. I was dead. Now I am alive. That is a supernatural act, one which cannot be proved by the protocols of the scientific method.
All I can say is, this really happened. It happened for me. It happened for you. It happened for each and every one of us -- whether we believe it or not.
God rest ye merry, gentlemen -- and gentlewomen and boys and girls in all places, in all times.