Day 6. One thing it cannot be
[above: Master of the Houghton Miniatures, The Visitation. Mary and Elizabeth in the garden of a country house—Huth Hours (1485-1490), f.66v - BL Add MS 38126 / Wikimedia]
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. (Luke 1:50 NRSV)
One must keep on pointing out that Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.
— C. S. Lewis, ”Christian Apologetics”
In faith, Mary, after accepting her call through the angel Gabriel to give birth to the Son of God, made haste on a three-day journey from her home in Nazareth to the hill country of Judah to visit her relative Elizabeth. Upon her arrival Elizabeth immediately confirmed that Mary was blessed for actively believing and acting on God’s word. Mary had been chosen to play a vital role in the fulfillment of God’s merciful rescue plan for the world through the Incarnation as God took on human form.
In response to this revelation, Mary was overcome and spontaneously sang a song of praise (now known as the Magnificat) in which she joyfully proclaimed that “God’s mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.”
The birth of Jesus Christ through Mary, an obedient, God-fearing woman, made possible God’s great act of mercy in which he so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Mary’s song communicates the profound truth of Christianity that God’s lifesaving mercy is available to those who fear God. Inherent in this truth also is the idea that those who do not fear God will not receive his mercy.
For this reason C. S. Lewis wrote, “One must keep on pointing out that Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, as we reflect upon the miraculous birth of Jesus, the moment in which the Incarnation became a reality, let us thank God for Mary, who believed God and acted upon his word as being something of infinite importance. In the same way, let us not forget to thank you, God, for your mercy, poured out upon us through the atoning life and work of Jesus Christ on the cross. May we live every moment with the understanding that our Christian faith is of infinite importance as we prioritize our thoughts, words, and deeds. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
By Joel S. Woodruff
[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #133+ in 2019]Joel S. Woodruff is president of the C. S. Lewis Institute, Washington, D.C.
Day 7. Creative beings in a created world
Tolkien’s stories are a deep reminder of the Incarnation of Jesus, the Son of God.Colin Duriez
Day 8. God became man
God, the lawgiver, provides the necessary forgiveness to cover our failures.Max McLean
Day 9. Recorded history
Quirinius’s distinctive name firmly roots the Incarnation in human history.Philip Ryken
Day 10. Holy laughter
True laughter, holy gladness, requires freedom from the world.Jennifer Trafton
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