Sometimes the toughest miracles produce the most beautiful results.
What we can know for sure is that miracles never happen outside of the context of mystery and mess.
Think about it . . . think about the miracle of the life of Mary.
We have sanitized the miracle of the nativity. Because we know the rest of the story of Jesus we can go back and view the miracle of his birth as a beautiful, peaceful, and sanitary affair.
“The cattle are lowing the baby awakes.
The little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.”
What healthy newborn “no crying he makes?”
Or . . . “Silent night, holy night. All is calm. All is bright.”
While the night was most certainly bright and holy, in no way, shape, or form was it calm and silent.
We have a need for things to be nice and neat. However, the beautiful thing about our faith is that even in the uncertainty, even in the “mess” – God shows up.
That is the beauty of the Christmas miracle.
God showed up in the midst of the chaos, the desolation, the brokenness of the nativity.
A young woman, who could have been scorned by those closest to her gave birth to one that would offer the world hope against the darkness.
The Gospel of Luke that records the Christmas story as most of us know it, makes it indelibly clear that walking in the way of Jesus is neither safe nor predictable. Sometimes we have the idea that when we do right, wrong is not supposed to show up. And if we are faithfully following Jesus, then life isn’t supposed to get messy, but it does.[1]
Following Jesus is never sanitary. Following Jesus is never easy.
It requires sacrifice. But the joy and beauty that comes in that sacrifice is transformational and life-changing. Just look at the lives of those Jesus impacted. Look at Mary.


The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. . . .” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:30-31, 34 NRSV)

[1] Slaughter, Mike (2011-08-01). Christmas Is Not Your Birthday: Experience the Joy of Living and Giving like Jesus (p. 22). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.