Dec 20, 2012

Christmas: Anything But Serene, Gentle, and Nice...And Thank God for That!

We like to think of peaceful scenes of love, shepherds, angels at Christmas.

The whole scene is so serene, so peaceful.

Shirley Guthrie reminds us in his book, Christian Doctrine: 

The Christmas story is anything but the sentimental, harmless, once-a-year occasion for a "Christmas Spirit" that lasts only a few days before we return to the "facts" of the "real world." Christmas is the story of a radical invasion of God into the kind of real world where we live all year long -- a world where there is political unrest and injustice, poverty, hatred, jealousy, and both fear and longing that things could be different. (p.235)

While things may have seemed serene and genteel in the manger, there was something else going on in the heavenly realms.

Christmas was God's declaration to the Prince of Darkness that his time had come to an end.

John Eldridge says in his book Waking the Dead:

The birth of Christ was an act of war, an invasion. The enemy knew it and tried to kill Him as a babe (Matt. 2:13)...War is not just one among many themes in the Bible. It is the backdrop for the whole story, the context for everything else. God is at war. He is trampling out the vineyards where the grapes of wrath are stored. And what is He fighting for? Our freedom and restoration: the glory of God is man fully alive. (p.16)

For those who know all too well what it means to be trampled under foot, to be oppressed by evil and darkness, what's needed is the destruction and the shattering of evil and darkness.

That's Christmas!

For those of us still reeling from the unspeakable evil that occurred in Connecticut, indeed the promise of this child to be born is indeed a word of strong comfort.

Listen again to the promise of Christmas:
"For as in the day of Midian's defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given..." Isaiah 9:4-6a.

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