What really happened on Christmas? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I’ve seen several people sharing lists of their least favorite Christmas songs and one common song on many lists is Merry Christmas: War is Over. I am not going to talk about that song, but I think it is mistaken. When we look at the original Christmas, it’s not war is over. We could say the message at the first Christmas was, “Merry Christmas: War is Starting.”
My favorite version of the Christmas story in Scripture is found in Revelation 12. We forget that this is really what happened. Jesus is born and then wise men come seeking him and King Herod wants him dead. No doubt, Herod was a twisted and evil man, but he know what the birth of the Messiah meant for him. This guy was to rule Israel. He was a threat.
We have our nativity scenes set up with gentle scenes and it’s all peaceful, but Jesus’s coming was a declaration of war. This was God making His way into the world in a new way in a way that He would be king. This was God coming in person.
The world was meant to never be the same. Herod was just the first challenger. The religious elite in Israel started to challenge Him as well. His followers, His body, would be persecuted by the Roman Empire. Later on Islam would come up and from them on, more and more forces have come up to persecute the church.
Jesus is a threat to people wherever He goes. A few months ago a friend shared that we often hear that Christianity needs to come to grips with the world. This person they shared then said it’s the exact opposite. The world needs to come to grips with Christianity.
When we celebrate Christianity, we don’t celebrate the end of a war. We celebrate the start of a war. We should also realize that we are to be continuing this war. We are to be spreading the message of the King and understand that that message comes with opposition.
It could be tempted to think that that means doom and gloom, but it doesn’t. We are meant to win this war. The gates of Hell will never stand against our side. Gates are defensive measures. The church has often put itself on the defense when we are really supposed to be on the offense.
On Christmas, we celebrate our king coming and leading the charge. He went and defeated the major enemy and left the rest of the battles for us to fight. Even then, we fight them by His power and not our own. We are meant to be conquerors.
This world is the world of King Jesus and He came into it on order to reclaim it We are meant to be ambassadors of good news and be rescuing those who are still believing that the enemy is in charge. The greatest battle has already been won. We are, at this point, dealing with left over battles and the last holdouts.
Christmas is a fun time, but remember it’s a time of victory and fighting the battle between good and evil. Jesus came to reclaim this world for God. Let’s make sure we are helping the cause.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)