Isaiah 9:13, NIV
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
This Christmas season a very unusual phenomenon has been seen on British television – a new dramatised version of the nativity in which the writer has portrayed the core truth of the incarnation as fact, as opposed to fiction! Tony Jordan is better known for writing scripts of a much more earthy nature for one of the UK’s longest-running soap operas, Eastenders. In normal circumstances he could not have been expected to have to have done such justice to what the Bible teaches.
The brief from the BBC was to write something pretty wacky about the nativity. He says that when he started on the project he didn’t believe in the nativity story. But the more he thought about it he realised “it would be a travesty to take the most beautiful story in the history of the world and turn it into a cheap gag.” So he began reading the story for himself and researching the facts of what the Bible says happened and he made a few surprising discoveries – both about Jesus and about himself!
When asked by the Daily Telegraph reporter about believing in the fact of the Virgin Birth, Jordan replied, “If you accept that Jesus is the Son of God, why would you not believe that Mary was a virgin, and that God must have had some hand in the impregnation?” And he followed this comment by saying, “The only thing I know for sure is that the words I read as coming from Jesus Christ are the most truthful thing I have ever heard!”
It’s no surprise, therefore, that the Editor of the Daily Telegraph headed his own comments on the article by the words ‘A born-again Nativity.’
We are living in an age when the facts of Christmas are no longer politically acceptable. The decorated tree in the White House is called a Holiday Tree! And it is reported that of all the cards on sale in British supermarkets, less than one per cent have any relationship to the facts of the Christmas story! These are days which are increasingly dark spiritually and in which it is becoming more and more costly to personally adhere to Christian truth, as the normal standard for faith and conduct. But in the midst of the darkness a shining fact remains – when people, even professional script-writers such as Tony Jordan, approach the Scriptures with a desire to know the truth, that the God of Truth will reveal Himself to them.
The virgin birth is, indeed, a sign to the whole world that God is with us. The incarnation tells us above all else that God loved the world so much that He gave His only son that we might have everlasting life (John 3:16). To know that we are loved is the deepest and most intimate need of every member of the human race. You ARE loved – the nativity story declares that one glorious fact above all others. It’s easy to love someone who we know loves us, so absorbing this astonishing truth for ourselves is the beginning of the most exciting pilgrimage of all – loving Him, who first loved us, and walking together with Him for the rest of our days.
Prayer: Thank you Lord, that the truth of Your Word still has its ancient power to challenge the hearts of men and women. Help me, this Christmas, to read afresh the Gospel stories and be freshly impacted by the most truthful things that have ever been written. In Jesus’ name, Amen.