“It’s a miracle,” we’d say to our family and friends. “It’s a miracle, the birth of God’s Son into our broken and troubled world.” It’s a miracle.
Unfortunately, we’d all be wrong. There is no miracle today. I’m not being clever or cute because, indeed there is no miracle to be had today.
Just read Isaiah, as we’ve heard throughout these four weeks of Advent to know that this is no miracle. Just read all the Old Testament prophets quoted in the New Testament about this alleged miracle of God’s intervention into our broken and troubled world.
It was all planned. It was the plan all along.
I don’t believe in destiny or God’s preordained plan for each of us. God is as surprised as we are when good and bad things happen.
God’s not a puppeteer, but God does have a plan – the prophet Micah tells us what it is and what a better mantra for us to live by – “And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” Three verbs and three nouns for you English teachers: “do, love and walk.” The nouns are “justice, kindness and humility.”
Even if you’re old, three things aren’t that difficult to remember, are they?
That’s God’s destiny for God’s world.
There are no miracles from God on this holiest of days. God planned this a long time ago and pulled it off in a tiny town, in a dingy manger with two animals flanking the Holy Family. (We could only afford two animals, but would love a sheep, if anyone is interested…)
What then is today’s miracle? What makes this day miraculous? It is that we are able to pull off a miracle in spite of ourselves or because of ourselves. It’s those three verbs and three nouns. It is that simple and it is that complicated.
This boring sermon doesn’t need to be boring because it’s all about the threes: Joseph, Mary and Jesus. Then “doing, loving and walking” followed by “justice, kindness and humility.” If we can pull that off, then you’ve got your miracle.