As I write, it’s late November, and we’re approaching the celebration of history’s biggest miracle – the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Lately, I’m deeply under the impression of miracles happening all around me – can you hear them, can you see them? Perhaps you’ve been too busy to notice, too caught up in the calamities of life causing you not to perceive Him moving, active and present?
Watch and Listen to the News that Matters
Similar to Biblical times God is performing wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted (Job 5:9). You might disagree, pointing to pandemics, elections, and general moral decay throughout the world.
Yes, we are being bombarded with catastrophic messages about world events, doom and gloom, economies failing. However, now more than ever, in sharp contrast, I’m beckoning you to become aware of the angels calling out one to another, saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his GLORY!” (Isaiah 6:3)
Friend, when everything around you seems to be falling apart – look to God’s billboards and find hope again in the message they proclaim: Look to the heavens, they are telling of the GLORY of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands (Ps 91:1)
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For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made]Romans 1:20
Don’t you see it? Creation wasn’t a once-off miracle. On the contrary, it’s an ongoing news broadcast reminding us of God’s faithfulness, ever-presence, immense power. It’s a voice that tenderly speaks to us of love and forgiveness. It’s a vibrant, ever-changing, visual and audible extravaganza displaying His creative genius, attention to every detail of our lives and, dare I add, His tender smile and sense of humour.
Theologian and church reformer, Martin Luther, wrote, “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in flowers and clouds and stars.”
Are Miracles relics of the Biblical Times?
Do miracles still happen? Does God still make Himself mightily visible and audible on this earth? Of course, many look to prophets for the presence of God, for signs and wonders – I do not decry the place and value of prophecy.
However, I want to challenge you on a whole different level. I call on you to relish, as if for the first time, the miracles all around you, in your everyday life, in the mundane. “That’s old”, I hear you say “and not the kind of miracle I need”. While you protest, I want to point out that the greatest miracle in history happened in the mundane, to a peasant couple, amongst the most ordinary and poor people, the circumstances woefully devoid of any glamour. Yet, God’s glory was present there in an overwhelmingly powerful way.
The angels declared their message “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11) from an ordinary night sky. To an audience of shepherds – unprepared, uneducated, unskilled. Nonetheless, they had ears to hear and eyes to see. Accordingly, they beheld the glory of God. Although this was certainly not your typical (Hollywood-cast) miracle, definitely not what we expect for the birth of the Son of God.
No-one would dispute it was a breathtaking miracle, nonetheless. Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. (Zechariah 4:10.). Certainly you can agree that the same applies to the “minor” miracles that I am directing your attention to.
Nothing has changed since that night – all of creation is still miraculously declaring the good news, shouting the name of the One who holds all of creation together (Colossians 1:17):
The question remains – are you paying attention to the miracles around you?
All of Creation Lifts Praises to the Son of God
Charles Spurgeon, a well known Christian author expressed it beautifully:
Doth not all nature around me praise God? If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe. Doth not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Doth not the lightning write His name in letters of fire? Hath not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be?Charles Spurgeon
When I see and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have established (Ps. 8:3), I am overwhelmed and awestruck with wonder! Jesus, your glory fills the whole earth, I see you in every sunrise and sunset. I feel your caress as the breeze brushes my cheek. I hear your voice in the wind whispering through the colour-kaleidoscope of autumn leaves. The choir of birds sing praises to your Name. And with the hosts of heaven the whole earth cries out glory to you Lord!
All the earth will worship You, and sing praises to You; They will sing praises to Your name. (Psalm 66:4)
And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever (Revelation 5:13)
Blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory (Psalm 72:19)
The whole Earth is filled with His Glory
God came near over 2000 years ago, and dwelt among men, His glory never left.
This Christmas, savor the Season of the place in the world where you find yourself. Stand in awe of the gentle whisper of snow falling. Remind yourself that His hands intricately and uniquely designed every snowflake. When you feel the tingling of a crisp Winter breeze allow it to invigorate you. Perhaps you find yourself in a tropical climate. Allow the ocean to mesmerize you anew . Enjoy the rhythmic regularity of the waves. Watch as the setting sun paints the sky in glorious hues of orange and silver – perfectly reflected in expanse of the ocean. Importantly, never miss the opportunity to gaze in awe at the intricate design and beauty of a sea shell.
Martin Luther remarked, “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf of springtime”
Observe how nature declares His glory and relish the sound of His name, He is present among us in the everyday details.
Moreover, isn’t it time for us to join in and raise our voices anew, declaring the majesty and wonder of the king of Kings? Obviously not only at Christmas but throughout the year. Jesus replied, “I tell you, if these people keep silent, the stones will cry out in praise” (Luke 19:40 AMP). Instead of only humming along with threadbare Christmas carols, worship along with the host of angels. Sing praises to the One who was and is and is to come. Come relish and celebrate with abandon the birth of our Saviour! Also, awaken your senses to His miracles surrounding you. Let them remind you, daily, of His invisible attributes, His eternal power and His divine nature (see Romans 1:20 above).
It all comes down to Eyes and Ears
In conclusion, in Matthew 13:13-15 Jesus explains why He spoke to the crowds in parables (maybe the same applies to why He speaks through nature):
This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “ ‘ You will ever be hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
For instance, He gave the lion his mighty roar, to give you chills down your spine. He gave a zebra a sleek black and white design for your viewing pleasure. When He made the giraffe, He smiled when He chose to stretch its neck. Every night He covers the sky in black velvet, studded with glittering diamonds. In addition, you may find Him winking at you once in a while as He glitter streaks the night sky with a falling star. All of that, and so much more, bearing the inscription of the Artist of Love: “I did it just for you”
Above all, awaken your senses to the crescendo of His symphony of love, calling out to you:
God became flesh, Immanuel, born to a virgin, just for you.
He died as a sinner on a cross, just for you.
He is returning triumphantly, as a King, to rule and reign and to take you home
Let Jesus also say of you, “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears because they hear” (Matthew 13:16)