Christmas and the Kingdom of Heaven are for children. Jesus made it clear that “unless you turn and become like these little ones, you will never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:3). At the same time the Bible exhorts us not to think like children. Paul tells the Corinthians “do not be children in your thinking…but in your thinking be mature.” (1 Corinthians 14:20) Many who grow up in Christian homes and are taught the Bible from their earliest years lose their faith in School, in the work place, or in the Military. They become exposed to sophisticated philosophical systems that leave no room for what they’ve been taught at home or in the church. When this happens the awe and wonder of the world goes away. Everything that captures the imagination and hearts of children is reduced to a scientific formula of what and how. There’s an obsession with the “what” and a passionate search for the rationale of “how” things work in the world. But the glorious Biblical “why” the world is as it is and why mankind, and ourselves as individuals, are in the mortal state that we’re in. The Message of the Bible is the only legitimate answer to the why questions of life.

Saint Augustine is famous for saying, “I do not understand in order that I might believe, rather, I believe in order that I might understand.” It all must begin with Childlike faith, but it must go on to mature understanding of the tenants of the faith. A child might readily accept the Christmas story of the virgin birth of Jesus as described in the Gospels, but it’s not until they understand the “why” that their faith grows to a mature level. We must teach our children the “whats and hows” of faith in their early years but then expand the teaching to reach them with the why level so that their faith will become stronger not weaker when confronted with atheistic and agnostic doctrines in the world.

The virgin birth of Jesus was absolutely essential to the fulfillment of the role for which he came into the world. We are all sinners. The Bible presents the sins of mankind as blotches, stains, breaks, scars, flaws, welts, and numerous other images all of which present the reality of man’s imperfection. Yet the only acceptable sacrifice for the sins of man must have been a perfect sacrifice. One commentator puts it this ways, “He would be ‘holy’ from the womb.… His name was to be Jesus … denoting Him as Savior. The holiness of Jesus is here put in connection with His miraculous conception, and surely rightly. In no case in the history of mankind has natural generation issued in a being who is sinless, not to say superhuman.”

“When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:18