And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. [Luke 1:41-42 (KJV)]
Yesterday, I mentioned Dr. Frank Crane’s comments about the wonders of everyday life. After saying, “The miracle of miracles is life,” Crane adds, “The most amazing, baffling, mysterious thing in all the universe is a seed.” While cutting into an orange this morning, I looked at the seeds hidden in the juicy fruit and recalled his words. Think how a single orange seed can grow into an orange tree that produces countless flowers that almost miraculously transform into oranges that will then produce even more seeds. The amazing power and potential held in the core of one small seed is there because it was designed by God.
It was my granddaughter’s 17th birthday recently and, since I couldn’t be with her, I looked through old photos of her instead. I recalled the day I first saw her. Only a day old and small enough to fit in a Christmas stocking, Bree was in her mother’s arms. The sight of the two of them took my breath away. For some odd reason, I recalled Elizabeth’s greeting to the Virgin Mary, “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” I’d read and heard that phrase countless times yet I’d never really considered it. But there, right in front of me, was my daughter, the child who’d been the fruit of my womb, and she was holding her own child, the fruit of her womb. By extension, that infant also was the fruit of my womb along with my mother’s and grandmothers’ and the wombs of their mothers before them. That little girl’s DNA held fragments of people she’d never know. Both past and future were locked within her being. Remembering that sense of wonder I felt upon seeing her, I thought of Crane’s words about the miracle of miracles: the life within a seed. How does God pack soul, blood, hair, skin, teeth, eyes, bones, nerves, talent, heart, personality, imagination, sense of humor, fingernails, and the ability to love, laugh, and cry into the two microscopic cells that join to become a human being?
We just celebrated the miracle of Jesus’ incarnation when God took on human flesh. He became a fetus in a woman’s body—the fruit of her womb—and was born. In some miraculous way, the hand of God touched a virgin and impregnated her. How He did this is a matter beyond our comprehension and yet He did. As Christians, we attest to the virgin birth in both the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds. There are, however, some people who accept all of Scripture’s miracles except for this one. Yet it really is no more amazing than God’s many other miracles. Parting the Red Sea, manna from heaven, Jericho’s destruction, turning water into wine, stilling a storm, the sun standing still, feeding a multitude, giving sight to the blind, walking on water, resurrecting the dead, and ascending into heaven all defy the laws of nature.
We don’t have to look to Scripture to be witnesses to God’s ability to do the unbelievable; just look at the miracle of miracles—life itself! The birth of a child, even when conceived the usual way, is miracle enough to convince me that the author of nature’s laws can rewrite them any time and any way He wants. The Human Genome Project spent thirteen years mapping all 3.1 billion base pairs in human DNA—the entire genetic blueprint of a human being—and yet they never found the innate sense of right and wrong that exists within each one of us from the moment we’re born or the very essence of humanity. What is the DNA of an immortal soul? My 23andMe report doesn’t say and the Human Genome Project still doesn’t know!
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. [Nicene Creed]