Christmas is the season of a miracle. With “miracle,” we mean to indicate an event that the laws of nature cannot account for. In our time, it is often imagined that the laws of nature (i.e. physics, chemistry, biology, etc…) can account for everything. We presume that everything not already explained by the laws of nature is nevertheless potentially explicable by them, and will eventually be explained by them actually, through future discoveries.
But the laws of nature themselves cannot be accounted for in this manner; the laws of nature cannot explain the laws of nature. All of creation is a miracle, in that sense. Thus, the mundane world is everywhere sustained by what is transcendent. The cause of the mundane world is what we mean by “God.” Given that the mundane world depends on God, it is unreasonable to axiomatically discount the miracle of Christmas, which is the miracle of miracles.
The miracle of miracles is the Incarnation of the Creator into his creation. If we look for the Creator inside his creation, as a being amongst other beings, we will forever miss the mark. Then we will be akin to the Soviet Premier who mocks the simple faith of peasants, “Why are you clinging to God? Here [Yuri] Gagarin flew into space and didn’t see God.” If we look for J. R. R. Tolkien in Middle-earth, we will also not find him. Tolkien is not part of Middle-earth in the manner of Arwen, Aragorn, & Frodo. But neither is he apart from it; he is nowhere in Middle-earth and also everywhere. We are to understand that what is impossible for a sub-creator, the Creator accomplished through the Virgin Mary:
Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est.
The conjunction of the transcendent and the mundane into the immanence of Christ Jesus finds expression in the cross. The Luke and Matthew Gospels present the genealogy of Jesus—the horizontal beam. The John Gospel presents the vertical rod—Incarnation of the Χριστός (Christós), the Λóγος (Lógos). A Gnostic Fragment also depicts the Incarnation:
Behold, O Father, how, distant from Thy Breath (Pneuma, Spiritus),
This poor creature upon Earth
Wanders, the victim of all ill,
Lost and perplexed it stumbles
In attempt to flee the bitter Chaos —
Therefore send me, O Father!
Descending I shall bear the seal of Heaven,
Traversing all the Æeons,
I shall impart to her all sacred knowledge
Thus, O Father, may Thine image be made manifest;
And ‘Gnosis’ it shall be for Man.
The Original Sin resulted in an exile or estrangement which it was the mission of the Incarnate Lógos to redeem. This is symbolised by the Feast Day of Adam & Eve on the 24th of December and the subsequent celebration of the Nativity of Jesus on the 25th: “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Between these two days, the history of creation is recapitulated in symbol, from the Alpha to the Omega, Α – Ω.
Genesis describes the Divine Fiat “In the beginning”:
—Let there be Light.—
The John Gospel indicates mankind’s incapacity, to receive the light, as a consequence of the fall into darkness and sin, which error, which is hamartia, “missing the mark”:
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
To draw mankind back to Truth, therefore, God enters his own creation—“the Light of the World” enters the darkness—the Lógos incarnates:
And the L ó g o s was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
This is the Gospel of Christmas: that God became Man so that men might become God.* This is the birth of the light that we celebrate in this darkest season of the year.
*Compare Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215):
“[T]he Word of God became man, that thou mayest learn from man how man may become God.”
“For if one knows himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God”
“[H]is is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, “Men are gods, and gods are men.” For the Word Himself is the manifest mystery: God in man, and man God
“[H]e who listens to the Lord, and follows the prophecy given by Him, will be formed perfectly in the likeness of the teacher—made a god going about in flesh.”