The Virgin Birth Luke 1 by Revd Alex Pease

The Virgin Birth

My father in law had huge difficulties with accepting the truth that the Creator of the universe had come among us.  But his principle hang up was the Virgin Birth.  He thought that it was absurd.  Many today think it is crazy to believe such a thing.

But as the Oxford academic Vince Vitale pointed out in an article published just before last Christmas, in fact everyone is committed to a virgin birth, whether they realise it or not.

We read in Luke Chapter 1 that the angel Gabriel comes to Mary and announces that she is to bear a child.  She says “How will this be…..since I am a virgin?’ The angel replies “The Holy Spirit will come on you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God”.

Of course this is not the conventional way of becoming pregnant and so is admittedly rather out of the ordinary.  But what is the alternative?

In a debate in 2011 John Lennox a professor from Oxford was debating with Peter Singer an Princetown professor and one of the world’s leading atheists.  Lennox asked Singer ‘why are we here’.  Singer replied: “We can assume that somehow in the primeval soup we got collections of molecules that became self replicating and I don’t think we need any miraculous or mysterious ”

But surely that is pretty mysterious in itself: ‘somehow’ getting self-replicating molecules in the primeval soup?

That sounds like a virgin birth to me.

Stephen Hawking the brilliant physicist writes “…the universe can and will create itself from nothing.  Spontaneous creation is the reason that there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist…”

But Vince Vitale asks – is that any less a miraculous birth than the account in Luke Chapter 1?

We live in a world which is miraculous – regardless of whether you are a believer in God, or a believer in nothing or you just don’t know.  We just cannot avoid it.

It’s not a matter of whether you believe in a virgin birth, it’s a matter of which virgin birth you believe in?

So we can either choose to believe in a universe which cares nothing for us, which has no purpose which renders our existence totally irrelevant and futile.  Or we can believe in a God who loves us so much that he came in great humility to share our lives, to share our suffering.  A God who created the universe for a purpose; a destination towards which we are all travelling whether we believe in him or not.  A purpose in which we have the freedom to choose whether or not we play the part that he has in mind for us.  A universe in which what we do today can have profound significance for eternity.


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