The angel said : nothing will be impossible with God.’
A Jewish chap, goes to see his old friend. He’s distraught and says: “You wont believe this, but my son has become a Christian.” His friend responds in absolute amazement: “that’s weird, ou wont believe this but my son has become a Christian as well.” They decide to go to see the Rabbi, to see if she has any wisdom to offer, and when they tell her what’s happened, the Rabbi shakes her head and says “well you wont believe this but my son has become a Christian as well.”
So the three of them kneel in prayer in the rabbi’s office and tell God what has happened – suddenly an mighty voice booms from the heavens “you wont believe this, but my son’s become a Christian too !
Christmas is usually a lovely time of christmas trees, presents and carols – and yet behind it all is an impossible story of God being three in one – one part of God – called the Word – becoming a human being and a woman called Mary being a virgin and having a child.
Most people, probably just focus on the baby and the Christmas tree and leave it at that.
Over the years I have met many people who do not believe in the Virgin birth. When I was at college I think most of the professors and students did not believe in the Virgin Birth – When I was about 20 I didn’t believe in the Virgin Birth either – I mean, virgins just don’t give birth. – unless you’re an aphid, an ant or a wasp or a bee – in which case they do.
So let’s be honest Christianity is weird, wonderful and to the human mind at least, impossible.
but remember The angel said : nothing will be impossible with God.’
So three impossible things for the night before Christmas:
First it’s impossible to be equally three things and yet only one thing at the same time. – you can be three different things – like two parents and a child in one family.
or you can be one thing with three different names like the same woman can be a mother, a daughter and a wife … but God is three in one in a different way, and it’s hard for us to grasp – actually it’s impossible for us to grasp, but it’s not impossible for God to grasp, because The angel said : nothing will be impossible with God.’
Secondly virgins don’t give birth, or at least they don’t give birth to baby boys. You might be able to clone another identical virgin from a virgin – but you can’t clone a boy from a woman ….. except of course that they used to think that you couldn’t fly to the moon and you couldn’t split the atom. It turns out that some women do have Y chromosomes floating around and that although, at the moment, cloning a child from a woman’s cell is totally impossible, it might not be all that impossible for God because The angel said : nothing will be impossible with God.’
Thirdly God can’t feel pain, or at least God can’t really get upset. God knows what’s going to happen before it happens, God knows what’s worked and what hasn’t worked and God knows that everything’s going to be all right in the end – except that by becoming a human being God did feel pain. I presume he felt hungry as a baby and yes, I think the infant ‘away in that manger’ did make a bit of crying… and I presume he was upset when his mum put him down, when his friends called him names, and when one of his best friends betrayed him. Because of course The angel said : nothing will be impossible with God.’
We are living in a strange world. It is a vulnerable world and none of us knows quite what is going to happen to us next. We have rules and regulations for one week, we make our plans, and then all of a sudden we have new rules and regulations and have to make different plans. We have hopes and dreams, disappointments and sadness, we face impossible choices. .. but the thing to remember is that The angel said : nothing will be impossible with God.’
You see faith is not understanding the Trinity or the Virgin Birth or the Incarnation – that’s just the mind, and understanding and thinking… faith is believing what the angel said, that nothing will be impossible with God.
so that whatever this world or other people throw at us – God will be able to sort it and us somehow.
Faith is believing in God, not necessarily believing about God.
What the rabbi should have said of course, is ‘don’t worry – God can be both a good Jew and a good Christian at the same time – because: nothing will be impossible with God.’