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Pathways – Why do we celebrate Christmas every year?

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It’s amazing how quickly we dismiss miracles that are right in front of our eyes.

One of the best children’s novels of our age is E.B White’s Charlotte’s Web. It’s a great story of how a spider named Charlotte saves a pig’s life by weaving words into her web. At one point in the story, the farmer’s daughter reads the words “Some Pig” spun out in the barn for all to see and rushes off to tell her mother.

The mother thinks her daughter has lost her mind so she takes her to the doctor.

The mother asks the doctor, “Have you heard about the spider’s web and the word that is supposedly there?”

“Yes, I’ve heard about it.” says the doctor.
“Well do you understand it?” asks the mother.
“Understand what?” replied the doctor.

“Do you understand how there could be any writing in a spider’s web?”

“O no.” said the family doctor. “I don’t understand it. But for that matter I don’t understand how a spider learns how to spin a web in the first place. When the words appeared everyone said they were a miracle. But no one has pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.”

“Well what’s so miraculous about a spider’s web?” said the farmer’s wife. “I don’t see why you say a web is a miracle, it’s just a web.”

“Ever tried to spin one?” asked the doctor.

Some people may ask – why do we need to celebrate Christmas every year? Why do we need to hear the birth stories and sing the carols every December? The answer is in the conversation between the mother and the doctor of Charlotte’s Web.

We celebrate Christmas every year because we quickly forget the miracle of the incarnation. Like the farmer’s wife in Charlotte’s Web we have allowed the world to erase the wonder of the miracle that is right in front of our eyes. So we need a yearly reminder of the mystery of it all, the joy of it all, the earth shattering miracle of the truth that God came to earth as one of us. He is to be called “Immanuel – which means God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

If you fail to recognize the miracle of the incarnation you will fail to see the wonderful truths that follow. You will fail to see the truth of God’s great love for you. You will fail to see the truth of God’s power and God’s grace and God’s ability to save you from your sins. Everything falls into place when you see the miracle of the incarnation.

That’s why we celebrate Christmas every year, so that we can see again the greatest of all miracles and bow down in worship.

Celebrating the wonder of the incarnation with you,

Tom