This year the Hallmark channel started on October 22nd. That is when the first of their forty-one new Christmas movies premiered this year. For the past few years the Hallmark channel has led the charge when it comes to new Christmas themed content, but streaming services are not far behind. It seems there are now more Christmas specials than ever before. Often these specials celebrate the “spirit of Christmas” or the “magic of Christmas” without ever really defining what that really is. In order to reveal the work of this spirit or magic these specials employ the well-worn plot device of the Christmas miracle.
The idea of a Christmas miracle is something that we are all familiar with. The website Tvtropes.com defines a Christmas miracle like this: “a Christmas Miracle is when some highly unlikely stroke of good fortune comes to the characters in the time where they need it most, simply through the magic of Christmas.” In the countless TV Christmas specials that have ended with a Christmas miracle, just when everything seems to be lost, everything instead works out perfectly in the end to create a perfect Christmas full of all the warm feels. There is a true Christmas miracle, and it does not involve an angel getting its wings. The true Christmas miracle involves a baby boy, and a divine love so great, that God sent his only son.
The real miracle was far greater, because it was just that- a real miracle. A miracle is not just some impossible coincidence happens. A miracle is when the divine actively meddles with the way the world works. A miracle is when the rules of reality are broken, and something truly incredible, truly impossible happens. The bible is full of miracles: The red sea parts, water comes from rocks, the walls of a city fall down, a bread and loaves multiply, and people walk on water. Of all the miracles one of the most miraculous is that unto us a child is born. This is the miracle, because that foretold child was Jesus and Jesus is Emmanuel-God with us. Christmas is all about celebrating THAT miracle. The miracle that God so loved the world that God himself invaded the world to redeem it and bring it out of darkness. The magic of Christmas is the miracle of God’s love that began at a cradle in Bethlehem and reached its fulfillment at a cross in Jerusalem. The way that we celebrate Christmas should be first and foremost based in our humble thanksgiving for this love and earnest worship of the triune God that loves us. We can also celebrate Christmas through our actions.
Christmas is all about the celebration of a miracle, and in this season of advent we should be expecting miracles to happen. Remember, a miracle is not just a stroke of good luck. A miracle is God at work in this world. It is the unexpected that can only happen because of God doing something incredible. God often does not choose to perform miracles alone. God works through God’s people. Whenever the miraculous happens, whenever the divine touches the earth in a mind blowing way, there is nearly always one of God’s faithful people there carrying the miracle out. God chooses to work through God’s people as miracle workers.
We are in a season that is meant to celebrate the greatest miracle of all time. May we celebrate the miracle of a child being born who was to become the wonderful counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace by seeking to be his miracle workers. This Advent, as we prepare for Christmas, may we spend less time looking for the perfect gift and more time looking how we can be someone else’s miracle.