Daily Dose, Sept. 26 — I Believe: The Apostles’ Creed

  In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7)   “I believe in Jesus Christ…who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary…” we say on Sunday morning. We declare it with a bit more enthusiasm in the Christmas season and the scriptured story is read in the sanctuary. This affirmation is a bit of a head scratcher for anyone who has an inkling of how children are normally conceived. That might just be the whole point. Given a world that was and is sick unto death and bound for continued disaster like a bat out of hell, maybe something completely beyond the expected prescription found in the religious medicine cabinet was required. The medicine we all need to heal our sin-sick souls came from heaven above. There was and is nothing on earth that can make us well. So the God from above came to us here below in the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. The affirmation of the Virgin birth is not about gynecology. It’s about Spirit and truth. Hate and hostility grow easily in the ground of history. Holiness happens to come from heaven. If you wonder why God chose to enter this world in such a peculiar way, then I will defer to the angel Gabriel who told Mary and the whole wide world one more time that “Nothing will be impossible with God.” Try reading Chapter 1 in the gospel of John if the angel response leaves you still a bit itchy. He digs down to the heart of the matter without ever mentioning the birth of Jesus. I’ll read the Luke story to you on Christmas Eve, with a frog in my throat, and run the risk of being regarded an overall-wearing, straw-chewing, country bumpkin who happens to be surprised and glad that God is here among us. -- Y’all come, Dr. Don