We use the word miracle in a number of ways.
Sometimes individuals who have been extremely ill suddenly get better without any explanation that can be identified or named. The change in their health occurs so rapidly that everyone is pleased but, at the same time, shocked. A miracle!
Researchers often invest years of their lives trying to find a cure for diseases or an immunization to prevent plagues. And then, all of a sudden, they figure it out and the discovery seems so simple that they wonder why it took so long! It seemed like a miracle.
It's the same thing with inventions. Thomas Edison had 1,093 patents but most were classed as failures. Was it a miracle that he invented the light bulb, motion picture camera and phonograph despite the failures?
Sometimes we hear about financial situations or business endeavors that were at the brink of disaster and then, out of the blue, things turn around. Miracle?
It's always interesting to learn about individuals who lift thousand pound vehicles, walk miles with a broken leg or survive conditions that would seem impossible to withstand. How can those things be explained without considering that they too are miracles?
People met each other at exactly the right moment in their lives. A person is elected to office even though the odds are against it. Peace comes without explanation when further conflict is expected. An idea arrives at exactly the right time. All these things are labelled as miracles.
Sometimes miracles come in the midst of doubt and discouragement. When there doesn't seem to be any hope, the miracle suddenly occurs. At other times miracles arrive after we have waited a very long time for them all the while believing they would happen.
It is written that the miracle of Christmas is something people hoped for and expected for many years before it occurred. They were awed but not surprised when the baby was born in Bethlehem.
But Christmas is also just as relevant today as it was back then because it changes all of us each year. Streets and homes are decorated with lights and glitter. People open their wallets to give to charities.
Families get together. Music promotes joy and laughter. Businesses close so staff can have time to celebrate. Giving becomes the focus and its spirit takes over most of the month of December.
Christmas is bigger than religion or denomination, country or culture. It motivates individuals to go outside of themselves and to connect with others. It is the miracle that transforms hearts and minds.
We all expect Christmas to come each year and no matter what we believe spiritually, we are touched by the miracle and participate in our own way.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
May you enjoy peace for today and bright hope for tomorrow.