There are many reasons for individuals not being able detect evidence in various areas of experience. Those starved of affection through infancy and childhood become impervious to evidences of love and acceptance in later life. With the natural ear man hears no evidence of certain bird calls and other high pitched sounds that pass over his head totally, and if it is suggested he gains assistance through various means of technology, the believer can appeal to the gift of faith and the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Faith is not mere belief of notions, propositions, or crass subscription to impossibilities, faith is a state of being, an ascent to another plane of awareness in communion with God where his viewpoint is shared and the invisible realm becomes visible. There is a block, mental and moral, in atheism and Christian faith would describe that as “the bondage of the will”. So much atheism quickly departs from rational dialogue to hostile language levelled at God – an odd response to a fictional figure. The disposition so clearly is this: God must not exist. The fact robs me of my “freedom”. As to Bertrand Russell, whose mother’s fear of hell must have been profoundly disturbing, Archbishop Donald Coggan reports that a friend, an eminent Anglican layman, was called to the dying philosopher’s bedside to pray for him. But, as the late Christopher Hitchens would allege in his own case, any yielding to prayer may simply have been the confused request of Russell, not as his true self, but as one whose brain had been addled and befuddled by illness (you cannot win with atheistic stubbornness but a sovereign God can and does, such is his great mercy as many reluctant trophies in heaven will prove).
The magic, glistening, gilded letters and sublime language of Scripture testify so charmingly, informatively, and impressively to the methods of God’s outreach to man. In the past numerous prophets passed on the word of the Lord to Israel which came to them and through them in various situations and ways to show that no set standard or artificiality impeded the ingenuity of God in conveying specific utterances to certain persons and audiences with maximum appeal and effect e.g. impressions, symbols, visions, Theophanies, and creaturely appearances human and angelic. God was versatile in the transmission of his will to his folk as might be expected from the living and creative God who expresses himself with such variety of speech and diversity of showings so that human interest is aroused.
As wondrous as the divine presentation of the word happened to be throughout many generations, as is noted in the Old Testament, the ultimate revelation was given in his Son. The accolades and honours heaped upon the Son highlight his authority and humility in coming to us in these last days before the closure of our era in the final judgment. The Word, the mind, the light of God came in the supreme and unsurpassable way in Jesus Christ. There is no further instalment of soul saving truth that will bring us into union with God. Scripture imparts the sure knowledge of him and the Spirit confirms it as authentic and accurate.
Jesus comes to us with the highest credentials of heaven. He is the maker and heir of all things. They are made his through the unification of earth and heaven by his conquest on the cross and coronation through his resurrection. Our Creator and King has visited us. He is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of his being, yet he lowered himself to become one of us and with us, which surely constrains us to pour contempt on all our pride. As we behold everything apparent to sense and faith we acknowledge him as the Sustainer who was pleased to divest himself of all the indications and insignia of his royal dignity and abase himself as a sacrifice for our purification and acceptance with God.
And now he sits at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. After the complete success of his earthly assignment, “He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worship him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).
The Son whose coming we celebrate in this season is the One who took our nature and took away our sins. The Father sent him and he willingly came to speak to us and suffer for us. These facts are amazing. Majesty descended to our fallen world as Mercy. Though we wrested ourselves from him our Maker would not let us go. Though we have offended him with haughty mind and criminal action our Judge will not allow the just charges against us to stick. The Supreme and Exalted One has exalted us to his presence and favour. Words do not suffice in describing the miracle that began at the Nativity – the miracle of a glorious salvation wrought on earth. We shall have to implore the Spirit to increase our understanding and raise our praises this Christmastide.