Magic vs. Miracle

Magic ~
1. the art of producing illusions as entertainment
2. the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature.

I heard an advertisement talk of sharing the "magic" of Christmas and it got me thinking. If we're trying to conjur up some manufactured event, or if we're sidetracked by the entertainment of the season, then we're going to miss it. The miracle, that is.

Miracle ~ effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
See the difference?
I admit. I've been playing Christmas music since November 1st and tree went up before Thanksgiving (I know, carnal sin for some). I am hiding, er, there's an Elf getting into mischief each night for a curious little boy. He's gotten his picture taken with Santa - twice. I'm fully embracing the Christmas season with as much joy and vigor as I can muster. But the reality is this is so much more than lights and gifts and carols.
There's a miracle here that we are presumably missing. I'm guilty of it myself. I try so hard to capture the spirit of the season - make sure to say Merry Christmas, telling and studying the story of Luke 1&2, singing carols of praise in honor of the birth of my Savior. But even so, I struggle to find the balance between the "magic" of Christmas and all its traditions and the "miracle" of Christ's birth.
There are people I know who are suffering. There are people in need. There are some in despair. There are others who cannot muster anything that resembles joy. There are those who hold the desire but have no means to make any part of Christmas happen. There are people who are praying for things - searching for their own miracle - and it's causing me to stop and put it all in perspective.
If we're expecting the magic of Christmas to transform our circumstance, then it will only be what we in the flesh can manufacture. It will be, at best, what we as humans can control of situations well beyond us.

But if instead we are cogniscent of the miracle of Christmas, we just might be privy to the work of God He truly intended. I don't know about you, but I know I certainly desire to be a part of something that surpasses all power known to man - something so far beyond me there is no explanation other than "He is..."
Remember He is the God who sent His son. (John 3:16)
He is the God who made Christ in the very image of Himself to be wrapped in the humanity of our flesh. (Philippians 2)
He is the Word made flesh, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
He became sin though He knew no sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
He conquered death and died for our sin. (1 Corinthians 15:55)
He is the God whose power raised Christ from the dead. (Ephesians 1:19-20)
And that same power is available to us as His children. The same children He came to save.

There is no magic in that. There is nothing in any part of the story that you or I or ANY human could cause to happen. But the miracles never cease in the works of God. And not just in the birth of our Savior, but in the continued work He chooses to do in each of us as His children.
You are His miracle.


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