Is everything just merry and bright? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
This Christmas for most of us here in the West, Christmas is indeed merry and bright. It will have us coming together with friends and family to celebrate the coming of Jesus. We will exchange gifts, have meals, sing carols, and any number of other traditions.
It’s a time of war.
That description doesn’t sound like war….
Yet it really is a time of war and we don’t realize it because we have it so good in the West. Imagine if you were celebrating this holiday in a Muslim nation where you are proclaiming God incarnate coming. Imagine celebrating it in a country like China. In a number of countries, being a Christian is a death sentence.
It was like that in the Roman Empire as well. A number of Christians faced the death penalty because of the charge of atheism. It was not safe to be a Christian.
This shouldn’t surprise us because in the Bible, Christmas is presented as a time of war.
Go to Revelation 12. It’s really my favorite rendition of the Christmas story. In this account, you see the birth of Jesus and when the devil can’t kill Him, he goes out to seek war on all of the saints. By the way, this is a problem for a totally futurist view of the book of Revelation. It’s really difficult to see this as anything other than the birth of Christ.
As a result of God coming into the world, war was declared. If we were really being accurate going to church, we should wear military gear. We often think we will go to get a feel-good message and encouragement, and there’s nothing wrong with such encouragement, but we should also consider that we are going to get our marching orders as we are soldiers for the Kingdom of God seeking its spread.
The world has never reconciled to the coming of God. There is still a desire to shut down Christianity. In the West, we are starting to see this more and more as the sexual revolution’s fruit is still going strong and more and more, movements are being made against Christianity. We could fear what happens, but it could be one of our greatest gifts. Christianity taken for granted tends to grow weak, much like anything that is taken for granted.
We are right now living in contested territory. We are living in a world where the forces of good and evil are constantly facing off against one another. As someone who studies video games and Christianity, this is something I find easy to understand as a game often throws us into a world where it is good vs. evil fighting constantly.
Go and enjoy Christmas by all means. There is something to celebrate. Jesus did come in the flesh and did start the battle. We are to go and announce the good news that not only the king came, but that the king is still reigning right now. None of this is the case if it hadn’t been that that original birth took place. (And I do affirm the virgin birth.)
(And I affirm the virgin birth!)