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Presbyterians Protecting Life - P.O. Box 461 - Glenshaw, PA 15116 - (412) 487-1990

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The Butterfly Effect

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,

nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Isaiah 64:4; I Corinthians 2:9


At 39 weeks Baby Chris’s lungs are now moving very rhythmically making 35-45 breathing movements every minute. All organ systems are developed and ready for life outside the womb. Everything is ready for “the Big Reveal.” At any time now, the birth will be accomplished, and we will get to meet this little one we’ve watched develop for the past nine months. At last we will get to count his toes and fingers, see the color of his hair and skin and search for his birthmark.


In 1963, MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz was conducting research on weather patterns. His research revealed that the smallest of changes could have large, unpredictable effects. He later termed this the “butterfly effect,” saying that a butterfly could flap its wings in one part of the world and it could cause a typhoon in a completely different place. This in turn led him to the conclusion that even with knowledge of primary conditions, the future was virtually impossible to predict.


The arrival of every baby creates a “butterfly effect.” As he enters into our relational world, he will require more movement on our part than is expected by someone so small. Each child changes our lives forever and the world for generations to come. Our identity will forever be bound up in our relationship to him and with him. According to Lorenz’ theory, we have no way of knowing what particular effect any child will have; no way of knowing if the future unknown impact will be positive or negative, large or small.


But Lorenz’ theory of unknown impact does not hold when it comes to one unique child named Emmanuel – God with us – the child who is the revelation of God to humanity (Colossians 1:15-19). This child was specifically promised in order to rescue us (Galatians 3:16); this child would ransom us out of our slavery to sin at the cost of his own life (Matthew 20:28); this child would lift the curse from the world (I Corinthians 15:22); this child has forever bound the world up in its relationship to Him and with Him (Zechariah 14:9; Revelation 11:15).


Thank God, the world will never be the same.

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven

No ear may hear His coming but in this world of sin Where meek souls will receive Him still the dear Christ enters in


O holy Child of Bethlehem descend to us, we pray Cast out our sin and enter in be born to us today


We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell O come to us, abide with us our Lord Emmanuel


“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,

by making peace through his blood,

shed on the cross.”

Colossians 1:19-20

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