In the conversations I've had with seekers, Paul's assertion in 1 Corinthians 1:23 is spot on: the mysterious death of Christ is quite the stumbling block. Then again, Christ's mysterious birth tends to cause a few hiccups, too. More often than not, the idea of the Virgin Birth invites a puzzled look, a smirk, a rolling of the eyes. As much as folks like to have Mary on the front of their Christmas cards, it seems they've only added her with a wink that suggests her story belongs right alongside Santa's in terms of believability. But this certainly doesn't mean we should avoid Mary, leapfrogging her on the way to Christ. If we do, our listeners would have every right to wonder if we think the whole thing is too far-fetched ourselves. They would also have every right to be mad at us! We would be ignoring a doctrine important enough to have been woven into ancient creeds—a doctrine that is breathtaking in the beauty of its significance for a wayward humanity. The fact that Jesus was born of a virgin was, and still is, very, very important. And because this issue of the Virgin Birth is so critical—and so often avoided—we're featuring Mike Woodruff's "The Virgin Birth." We hope it stirs some ideas to help you help your congregation celebrate the mind-goggling-but-glorious birth of a Savior.
The Christmas narrative begins with the account of an angel appearing to a young, lower- middle-class, engaged woman named Mary, to tell her that even though she was a virgin, she was going to give birth to the Messiah. The claim that Christ entered the world by a virgin elicits a variety of responses. There are some who argue the Virgin Birth is absolutely impossible, because miracles don't happen. ...
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