The Grand Miracle
“The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation,” Lewis says in Miracles (Chapter 14) that at the center of Christianity is the Incarnation of Jesus, God becoming flesh and dwelling among humanity (John 1). Lewis says that the Incarnation, “digs beneath the surface, works through the rest of our knowledge by unexpected channels, harmonises best with our deepest apprehensions and our ‘second thoughts’, and in union with these undermines our superficial opinions.” It’s the grand miracle and one we so easy to lose sight of in light of all the hubbub that fills our Christmas season.
If Lewis is right, the Incarnation makes up the center and all the moving parts of God’s plan. It is why the earth received form out of nothing, and why humanity became animated from dust. Perhaps God may have still come despite the necessity for our sin. We know that his want (not need) for relationship would remain. But, with the Fall, the intent of the Incarnation needed to be restoration, and the steps of the judges and the prophets and the kings all pointed in one direct dirge. “It relates not a series of disconnected raids on Nature,” Lewis says, “but the various steps of a strategically coherent invasion–an invasion which intends complete conquest and ‘occupation’.”
When we mask Christmas in the joy of children and family, in twinkle lights and gifts under the tree, in reindeer and snowmen, we only place a disguise on the Truth of the Incarnation. If we waver on the Incarnation we cease to be Christian. “The fitness, and therefore the credibility, of the particular miracles depends on their relation to the Grand Miracle,” Lewis says in reference to Jesus’ coming. And akin to many Christians today, Lewis would have said the Nicene Creed every Sunday as a reminder of the Grand Miracle. Here’s the applicable selection:
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
“In the Christian story God descends and reascends,” Lewis reminds us. “He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; further still, if embryologists are right, to recapitulate in the womb ancient and pre-human phases of life; down to the very roots and seabed of Nature He has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him.”
Glory to God in the highest.