Christmas is a war cry.

December 22, 2012 at 12:21 am 3 comments

We have a plethora of toddler-friendly Christmas decorations at our house – even though the “baby” is either in her twenties or several years removed from toddlerhood.

A Little People nativity set. A plush, finger-puppet manger scene that we’ve had since I was little. Board books with cute donkeys and sheep.

And even Mom’s Willow Tree Angel nativity set looks…peaceful.

I love cute Christmas decorations. And we all need a little bit more peace.

But this year? I need to remember that Christmas wasn’t meant to be cute. And although the angels proclaimed “good tidings” and “peace on earth” – goodness knows there wasn’t, and isn’t yet, worldwide peace with that first Christmas.

It was a war cry, friends.

I read an excellent article last week as I attempted to begin processing the Newtown shootings. And my heart is still breaking over that absolutely senseless and horrific killing spree. But while I don’t remember the author or title of the article (apologies), the author’s point was the very same: Christmas is a war cry.

Jesus didn’t come into a world where there was peace and happiness and everything was a Hallmark or Kodak moment.

He was born under a harsh government that crushed its peoples’ freedoms. His very birth prompted the murder of baby boys.

He was born into a time of evil, just like any other time. Born into a time of great weariness – it had been hundreds of years since the Jews had heard from God. Had he forgotten them?

And yet, that act of the Sovereign wrapping himself in newborn skin, coming into the smallest of worlds in the frailest of forms – that innocent, messy birth was a war cry like no other.

God acting on behalf his people. And not just acting from a distance, but physically entering into the pain, entering into the evil world to turn it on its head.

No matter what pain you are going through right now, when we cry, “God, where are you?” – he is here. He came to earth to suffer, live through pain, and die for the unlovely – so we don’t have to.

We celebrate Christmas because that manger was God splitting the skies to come down and be with us, to defeat the enemies we can’t, to kill death once for all.

To bring hope back to the world.

To bring us back to him.

Christmas isn’t gentle. It’s a war cry.

And now, we celebrate that the great battle has already been won.

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