(27) . . . conceived by the Holy Ghost

Men are deep-dyed “do-it-yourselfers.” The other religions, as well as the heresies of Christianity, show us how we can save ourselves and be our own god. We want to be proud of what we have done by ourselves. As “self-made men who worship their creator,” we resent being told that God has had to help us. But any religion which denies that God became man in Jesus cuts vital power lines. For by joining our human nature to his own, the Son of God prepared the way for us men to be received in peace and joy by God forever. Jesus made available to us on our level, by his Spirit, the power to live lives like his, victorious and eternal. It was a new creation, for he breathed into mankind the breath of his own wonderful life.

It was God who planned this and God’s power that brought it to pass. God in his mercy took the initiative and came to our rescue. It is not that we men sought for God and finally found him, but that God came to seek us out. God has never been lost, but we have! Without him we can do nothing much. As a woman without a man is powerless to bear a child, so the human race was powerless to produce its own savior. Neither Jesus’ relatives, the Jewish people, the Holy Land, nor the Roman Empire, are enough to explain the presence of a Jesus among them. He was by no means a natural product of his times, inevitably thrown up by the processes of humanity and history. Jesus was sent. l-le didn’t just happen. He was the earthly embodiment of the eternal Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost before he was born of the Virgin Mary. Our Lord’s entrance into this world was effected by the same Creator Spirit who had moved upon the face of the deep when the earth was a-burning. Once again the Holy Spirit hovered over the turbulent waters of humanity and enabled a Jewish girl to bring forth Jesus. No man planned it, willed it, or had a part in it. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost.

Being a Christian today means having the Spirit of the Lord within me. I know right well I didn’t put him there. He even made me willing to open the door! The word of Christ was always coming to me through my family, my friends, and my church. But it took root in me by the Holy Spirit, and by the Holy Spirit it grew into Christ-life within me. Many years passed before I realized that he had been working within. But my parents were right to have me baptized as a child, for he really was working even then. He isn’t through yet. Who can say when I first began to be Christian? The Holy Spirit works quietly when and where he wills, even in the babies of Christian homes. Mary did not understand what was happening in her, and neither do Christians-in-the-making. Every Christian is a work of the Holy Spirit.