Advent 14 (2012)–Miracle…on 34th Street?

Fred Gailey: All my life I’ve wondered something, and now’s my chance to find out. I’m going to find the answer to a question that’s puzzled the world for centuries. Does Santa Claus sleep with his whiskers outside or in?

Kris Kringle: Always sleep with them out. Cold air makes them grow.

No offense to Mr. Gailey or Mr. Kringle from Miracle on 34th Street, but that’s not the question that’s puzzled the world for centuries.  The really puzzling question is the one that Mary asked.

How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

This is the last day for this series we’ll be looking at Mary’s question before exploring the angel’s answer in detail.  But, I think it’s instructive to continue to put ourselves in context of the annunciation.

Theologians are pretty assured that Mary was not expressing doubt as Zechariah did.  Beyond that general agreement, there’s diversity in why they think she asked that.  Had I been in Mary’s sandals, here are some questions that would form the back story of why I’d ask it:

  • Virgins don’t get pregnant (*and stay virgins).  So does God want me to do it with Joseph?
  • Virgins don’t get pregnant*.  Does God think I’ve already been with Joseph?
  • Virgins don’t get pregnant*.  Is God talking about later on…like after I’m married?
  • Virgins don’t get pregnant*.  Am I going to have to do it with someone else?
  • Virgins don’t get pregnant*. I’ve never done this before.  Is it going to hurt?
  • Virgins don’t get pregnant*.  My parents are never going to believe this, are they?
  • Virgins don’t get pregnant*.  Is this just a weird dream?
  • Virgins don’t get pregnant*.  Who on earth is going to believe this?

God’s answer to Mary will address these things. 

The truth is that virgins don’t get pregnant (and remain virgins), apart from a miracle. 

What happens next is a miracle. 

It defies natural explanation.  It has divided people.  It is the real question that has puzzled the world ever since it was first uttered.  Miracles, true miracles, cannot be truly explained apart from God.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 14, 2012

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