'Jingle bells,' jolly old Santa, gift-giving, and 'the babe in a manger,' bring peace to ones heart, as they should. But the proper understanding of Christmas should bring equal realization of the war we are in, the war Christ has already won, and the war He entered, on our behalf, on the first Christmas.
"On the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall, The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater like the light of seven days. On the day the LORD binds up the wounds of his people, he will heal the bruises left by his blows." Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
Jesus entered the world, in human flesh and blood, to elevate the human person, in a relationship of Love, into the Life of the Holy Trinity. Some Christmas 'carolers' would prefer to dwell on the Christmas Incarnation, the gospel message (of social action), the Resurrection, and Pentecost, as the central instances of God's sanctifying action (holy-people making action) on His People. They would prefer to skip the flagellation, the betrayals, the torment and torture, and the horrific Crucifixion. For this is too messy a message for the world, particularly around the 'holiday' season.
But the Christmas babe and the Crucified's Cross are linked to the same war.
"The LORD sustains the lowly; the wicked he casts to the ground." Psalm 147:1-6
Be careful what you pray for, God just might give it to you. We live--to the mocking consternation of the progressive minded--in a fallen world, within a mileau of a/the fallen spirit, in fallen flesh. This war started in the Mystery of the story of the garden of Eden. It continues through fallen power struggles, through false religion, through irreligion, through consumerism, hedonism, agnosticism, socialism, communism, capitalism, and every 'ism' created by fallen man. The war is outside of us in terror, theft, rape, propaganda, murder, and every vice imaginable. It is also within us in the temptation to idolize the gods of this world.
Christmas inaugurates the entrance of the Prince of Peace--who also happens to be the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
"Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, 'Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Matthew 9:35--10:1, 5-8
Notice, Jesus didn't send his disciples out to preach the Kingdom of 'candy canes and mistletoe.' He sent them out to, among other things, 'drive out demons.' Christmas is the warm, fuzzy holy day of the arrival of the Prince of Peace. But Christmas is also the birth of the Lamb of God, the Suffering Servant, and the Lion previously spoken of.
Christmas, therefore, is as much about fighting 'the good fight,' as it is about all the rest of the warm and fuzzy's.
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