In this week’s chapters from Letters to Santa, Lisa picks up the Christmas Globe at Kringle’s Kitchen and shakes it as she says, “Please work.” The snow globe was famous in Evergreen for people shaking it and making a wish as the snow settled on the couple in front of the tiny church inside the globe that looked a lot like the church in Evergreen. Lisa shares her wish with the others. “A new idea.” Lisa hoped for a miracle that would result in finding a new owner for Daisy’s Country Store.
Time was running out and so were her hopes of saving the store. Meanwhile, Lisa’s best friend and business partner, Oliver, is on his way to Evergreen, by train, to help. Is Oliver the miracle Lisa wished for?
Every year the town holds an annual Christmas event that featured the handiwork of residents. That’s it! Lisa and Oliver stage the store using these items. One of their customers, Polly, agreed to visit Evergreen on Christmas Eve to determine if the store will fit her plans to expand.
The miracle Lisa wished for from the Christmas Globe was coming together.
Do you believe in miracles? A study conducted by Pew Research a decade ago found that over eighty percent of us believe in miracles. A more recent study, however, suggested that large numbers of former believers left church because they no longer believe in God. Does their unbelief disqualify them from experiencing miracles?
If you count yourself among those of us who believe miracles happen, what constitutes a miracle for you? The criteria that we use to determine whether something that happens is a miracle varies. But most of us agree real miracles involve God, whether whatever happened could have been a coincidence or would have happened, regardless.
I claim numerous one-to-one encounters with God. I wonder if these happened because I’m rather high-maintenance? As I child I imagined God near me most of the time. This feeling went away as I reach my teen years, although, looking back, it had more to do with me than God.
My most memorable encounter took place in the hospital. I suspect a lot of miracles happen in hospitals and even more requests for miracles happen. The image of an angel mediated my encounter sitting next to my bed in the middle of the night.
God has anointed me to bring good news to the suffering and afflicted….to tell those who mourn that the time of God’s favor to them has come….
I believe all miracles involve God’s Spirit as a mediator and a medium for miracles. And I’m guessing that our minds bend and shape our encounters into digestible pieces. Otherwise, encountering God would simply be too overwhelming for us to cope.
The Prophet Isaiah believed he encountered God one-to-one. Afterwards, Isaiah exclaims, “God anointed me to bring good news to the suffering and afflicted, and sent me to comfort the brokenhearted, to announce liberty to captives, and to open the eyes of the blind.”
There is nothing particularly miraculous about the commission God gives to Isaiah. Except that it is God and Isaiah. A one-to-one connection between humanity and our Creator. Is this miraculous or does it just feel that way when we realize that we’ve encountered God one-to-one?
Sixty chapters earlier, we read the account of Isaiah’s first encounter with God. Scholars question whether it is the same p erson, so I’ll use his name generically. Perhaps this is appropriate any way since each of us is invited to have an Isaiah experience. A miraculous encounter with our Creator.
Isaiah’s recollection of his encounter is spectacular. His description is poetic. Isaiah presumed he was doomed. Instead, Isaiah was given the gifts of prophetic insight and speech. But his gifts came with a commission to share insights with others that God is never absent nor inactive.
Christmas is a special time for miracles. Perhaps the Christmas spirit itself is the most persuasive miracle of all. After all, for Christians, Christmas is a celebration of God’s most personal one-to-one encounter with humanity.
What miracle is greater than the birth of a baby? How much more so when we consider who this baby is?
May you experience miracles in your life every day. Most of all, may you notice the miracles taking place all around you.
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Parts of our series was inspired by Nancy Naigle. Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa. Hallmark Publishing..© Crown Media Family Networks, 2019.